Saturday, July 14, 2012

Let's Hear It for Technology

For it allows me to sit in a hospital bed and spew my usual drivel without missing a day!  WHEE!

Hello, poppets.  Guess what I did yesterday?  Without going into unnecessarily gory details, I Brought Forth New Life.  Once again without any pharmaceutical help whatsoever, leading me to once again have a very strong reaction of, "THANK GOD THAT'S OVER."

So there's this baby asleep in the bassinet beside me.  He's been sleeping most of the time since his great entrance.  And when he's not sleeping, he's nursing.  Kid took to the milk like a natural.

His name, at least the one on his birth certificate, must, of course, remain top secret.  But his blog name will be Charlie.  That kind of goes with Cubby, right?

Right.  And speaking of Cubby, that gigantic child (in comparison to the new one anyway) was just here for his introduction to Baby Brother.  He took a good look, made some comments about babies drinking milk and crying, and then proceeded to bounce on the bed; play with the toys sent to him by his grandpa; attempt an escape to run wild through the halls of the maternity ward; eat the cupcakes the MiL made for us just this morning; and eventually sit on the bed with me to watch a few minutes of "The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh," courtesy of the very same wireless Internet that is bringing you this important update.

In other words, he ping-ponged off the walls for an hour and then whirled out of here like the dervish he is, leaving me contemplating with some trepidation my new reality of Cubby+baby.

But let's not think about that yet!  At the moment, I am alone in an air conditioned room with only one sleeping child.  I have cupcakes to eat, real coffee to drink (again courtesy of the MiL and the thermos she thoughtfully delivered when she came to visit), and Internet access.  Not too shabby.

Plus, there's this baby here who seems to be practically perfect in every way.  So yeah.  You could say life is pretty good right now.
Kristin had the baby around 7:00 pm on Friday.  There were no complications or problems.  Baby weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces, and is a boy.  Mother and Baby are fine, and baby is nursing nicely.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Okay, They're Forgiven

You may remember awhile ago, in an extensive bitch-session about the state of the garden, a passing mention of the irritating volunteer potatoes that seemed to have taken over one section of the garden.

Or you may have stopped reading before that.  I don't blame you if you did.


Yes, the volunteer potatoes appeared to be entirely too zealous and yet not at all fruitful, leading me to denounce them to the world as nothing more than another irritation in a garden full of irritations.

But then yesterday Cubby and I dug some up.  And, well, there were a LOT of potatoes out there.  What I mean is, I dug up three or four of the biggest plants and got many good-sized potatoes for my effort.  Considering my effort consisted solely of digging them and not actually planting them or mulching them or doing any work to make them grow, I was pretty pleased about that.

I ended up filling one of the big soup pots with these volunteers and boiling them all, not with any particular plan in mind, but just with the idea that it's never a bad thing to have a bunch of cooked potatoes in the refrigerator.  And then I sliced some up with a dressing of yogurt, lemon juice, and garlic for dinner.  And they were good.  So those potatoes have redeemed themselves and I would like to publicly apologize to them for my negative attitude.

Incidentally, for those of you wondering what in the Sam Hill a nine-months-pregnant woman is doing digging potatoes . . . well.  I like to eat potatoes.  I wanted them.  And considering I'm due on Sunday, I definitely do not care in the least if I induce labor with some strenuous activity.  In fact, I would be delighted.

Maybe today I should try pulling all the head-high weeds in the rock-hard soil in the actual potato field.  If anything would stimulate labor, it would be that.  Or maybe it would just cripple me.  I guess I'll stick to eating some more of my potatoes and just trust to luck that this kid comes sooner rather than later.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

There May Be Another Barbecue In Our Future

Two days ago, A. separated the lambs from their mothers, moving the lambs into the paddock right next to the house.  He did this for reasons of feeding.  That is, the grass is toast for the most part and there were way too many animals in an area where the grass was already exhausted.  So he moved the lambs near the house where he could supplement their feed and fatten them up for their imminent departure to foodland, leaving the remaining ten adult sheep to just eat the grass that remains in their pastures up back.

Good plan.  Theoretically.  In practice?  My GOD, are those lambs IRRITATING.

They are literally thirty feet from our door.  And they stand there pretty much all day long and yell.  Actually, it's really only two of the eighteen that yell incessantly, but two is quite enough to make a ridiculous amount of noise.  In addition to their proximity to the dining room door, they are also essentially right below Cubby's window.  His open window.  I have no idea how he manages to sleep through that noise, but thankfully, he does.

I, however, am not so able to tune it out.  A. said the sound of lambs crying should make my maternal instincts kick in.  It does not.  All it does is make me wish A. would get another urge to grill some lamb.  I know just the lambs for the occasion . . .

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Speaking of Edibility . . .

This has been a challenging summer when it comes to keeping the household fed.  There are a few reasons for this.  One being, of course, that whole gestating thing that makes elaborate cooking seem a huge waste of time when I could be lying on the couch eating my own special blend of peanuts and chocolate chips and re-reading a Barbara Michaels novel for the fifth time.

Also there is the toddler, who doesn't so much DO long periods of any one activity, including cooking; the lack of produce from the garden; and the heat.

In actual fact, the heat probably is the greatest limiting factor.  I just cannot stand to turn the stove on when it's already 85 degrees in the kitchen with 75 percent humidity.  The MiL can do this, and then sit in said hellish kitchen and eat the prepared meal with apparent enjoyment.  Even if I manage to get something cooked, the last thing I want to do after doing the cooking is sit at the table in the kitchen and eat it with sweat running down my face.

So not appetizing.

Sadly, it is also not appetizing for me to sit down to a meal entirely comprised of salad or a sandwich.  After a couple of days of scratch meals, everyone--including me--starts to feel as if the hunger will never be assuaged with anything but a real, honest-to-God cooked meal.  To say nothing of the raging hunger A. is left with after expending five million calories nailing shingles onto the roof.  No one who does that for five hours is going to be satisfied with tuna salad.

And that is why I have started using my Crockpot a lot.

I'm not really a huge fan of slow cookers.  I feel like anything I make in a slow cooker tastes better made in the oven or on the stove.  But when the stove and the oven are non-players, the Crockpot becomes the only way to cook a large hunk of beef.  So at least once a week, I put a big chunk of (unbrowned--OH THE LAZINESS) meat in the Crockpot with onions and barbecue sauce or steak sauce or soy sauce or hoisin sauce--or whatever cheater already-in-the-bottle sauce can be dumped directly in that bad boy--plug the Crockpot in in the shop to keep its heat from affecting the kitchen, and sit back on my lazy haunches.  It takes approximately five minutes in the morning and there is cooked food at the end of the day.

I'm not going to pretend it's anything but desperation cooking, but when the options are Crockpot chuck roast or . . . eggs again, the Crockpot is a pretty good option.

Someday I'll again be able to cook the way I like to, but not today.  And not tomorrow.  But someday I can relegate the Crockpot back to the far reaches of the pantry and get to know my Dutch oven again.  And that will be a happy day indeed.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Edibility Education

A word that Cubby learned early in life was "edible."  As in, "No, stone is not edible.  Ever. Well, unless you're a bird, because they sometimes do eat little stones to help their digestion."  "Rubber is not edible.  Nothing eats rubber."  "That is . . . technically edible, but kind of gross."

We talk a lot about edibility.  And that is because Cubby is a natural gatherer.

I suspect this is true for most children, it's just that he has more opportunity to practice it.  So when we're outside, he's constantly on the lookout for stuff he can grab and eat.  Like garlic mustard.  Edible.  Tarragon. Edible.  Pansies.  Edible.  I don't even think it's that everything tastes particularly good (pansies, for instance, don't taste like much at all), it's just that he CAN eat it, so he WILL.

We had a long discussion yesterday about the edibility of mules.  He was reminiscing about the mules he saw at the pick-your-own farm the day before and inevitably got around to asking if people eat them.  A logical question, since there are so many animals people DO eat.  No, I told him.  Mules are not generally eaten.  Sometimes, he said.  Not really, I said.  Some people eat them, he said.  Not really, I said.  Mules are not edible, he said.  Well, I said, technically they are, because they won't make you sick or anything, but they're probably tough and maybe have a funny taste.

We eat them, he said.  No, I said, we have never eaten a mule.  Some people eat them, he said again.  Not really, I said again.

This conversation lasted a good five minutes, and I don't think I really convinced him that mules are not a significant protein source.

The things I never in my life imagined would become topics for conversation . . .

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Family Fun

A. has been making a great effort lately to enforce Sunday afternoons as Family Fun Time.  He has noted, and he is correct, that if we don't make a strict rule to cease labors and do something fun, then we spend all weekend working our asses off with the various and never ending tasks that are a part of our lives.  And then he starts his work week with a physical hangover that has nothing to do with alcohol and everything to do with exhaustion.

So.  Sunday Family Fun.

Today's Family Fun activity was a trip to the pick-your-own farm to pick blueberries and raspberries.  I did not bring the camera, so there are no pictures, but it was much like when we went to get the strawberries.  Except, since A. was with us this time and he considers picking berries to be a little too much like work for comfort, he took over Cubby-chasing duties while the MiL and I filled buckets with blueberries.  Cubby and A. disappeared into the woods bordering the blueberry field, reappearing several minutes later with exciting stories of a water pump they found pumping water for irrigation.

That was pretty much the highlight of the trip for the two of them.  We heard about that water pump for the rest of the outing.  And the mules near the raspberry field.  But the water pump was the best part.

Fun obviously means different things to different people.  Good thing A. and Cubby are so much alike in their ideas of fun.