October 23, 2006

Going Twice Around the Pot

Cooking is one of those things I want to be good at. Just like I'd like to be a great singer, make people laugh hysterically (intentionally, not the accidental way I often do) and be able to fix things around the house, being a great cook would rock. To that end, I spend an inordinate amount of time watching cooking shows, reading recipes on the internet and staring at cooking utensils in stores. Of course, I'm never going to get good at this cooking thing until I start doing more of it. What I've been doing is the equivalent of wanting to be a fabulous sky diver, all the while getting into planes, looking out the window and saying, "Oh man, I don't know if I can do this."

So, I've decided to get started and to start slowly, or at least realistically. I have no designs on becoming Emeril tomorrow (several things about that transformation would be tricky, not the least of which is food related). I've set my sights on Rachael Ray.

I picked her for a few reasons: (1) She makes food I'd actually want to eat; (2) She makes food I think I could actually make (though it'll probably take me a lot longer than 30 minutes) and (3) She's the type of cook I'd like to be -- not too fussy and with an eye for what will work.

At this point in my cooking life, I can follow a recipe. As long as I can get organized enough to plan what I want to make, get all of the ingredients at the store and give myself enough time to prepare it, I'm in fairly good shape (this is true for simple to intermediate dishes. Don't be fooled -- I'm not spending hours in my kitchen trying to make baklava or anything). The leap I've never made is getting the "feel" of cooking. I know you know what I'm talking about. There are some people (Rachael is among them, I'm sure) who can walk into their kitchen and discover that all they have ingredients-wise is a jar of grape jam, some beef jerky and a pork chop and they can make a feast out of it. That's not me. I'm not to the point where I can eyeball things, or improvise and feel fairly sure about which foods will taste good when combined. I think that sort of skill takes a lot of practice and a willingness to fail, which is what slows me down. I'm always worried that I'm going to royally screw up a recipe and then we won't have anything to eat for dinner. This really shouldn't worry me so much because, after 32 years on planet Earth, I can honestly say I haven't missed many meals. But it does.

So tonight, we begin! This morning the baby and I went grocery shopping and picked up the ingredients for some Santa Fe Tortilla Soup. And if that doesn't work? I'm ordering a pizza.

UPDATE: Success! It worked! You should've seen me -- I was chopping those onions, garlic, cucumbers and chipotle peppers like a pro! I could've even expertly narrated what I was doing just like the cooking show hosts do if I wasn't afraid that all of that talking would distract me and cause me to lob off one of my fingers. Wow, that was fun. I've gotta do that again some time soon.

Posted by Kitty at 02:49 PM | Comments (73)

October 21, 2006


Slowly but surely, I have been re-entering the land of the living. Last week, I drove my car for the first time since I gave birth. Considering how much I was on the road before, it is weird to think I haven't driven for two weeks. But now that I'm on the mend and besides that was getting cabin fever, it seemed like a good time to venture out. I figured out both the car seat and the stroller, packed up the baby (who still sleeps as soon as he's in the car) and headed out for groceries. I know, not too exciting. But still, it felt like progress.

On Wednesday, Archi-Sapper agreed to babysit while I went to my book club. I hesitate to call it a book club, since we've decided not to read books any more. Since I was the only person who actually read the books we selected, this move wasn't surprising. So now, we're just a group of girls who get together, drink wine, eat and catch up. And since half of us are new moms, it's quickly becoming the "new mommy" club, which is fine with me. It was good to get out of the house for a while and interact with other adults.

Let's see....other big news....I just finished reading The Shadow of the Wind, which was fabulous. I'm ready to see the movie Marie Antoinette, but since the baby isn't movie-ready yet, I think that'll go in the Netflix queue.

Posted by Kitty at 02:18 PM | Comments (8)

October 13, 2006


Recent baby related conversation:

Me: I'm going to start pumping my breast milk using the pump we bought, since it's electric and a lot easier to use than the hand pump.

Archi-Sapper: Is there some way you can pump your milk through the tubing and directly into the baby's mouth?

Me: Um, no, I don't think the baby can do keg stands on the breast pump, if that's what you're asking.

That's about all the excitement from around here. I'm in week two of my maternity leave and it's been pretty quiet so far. I spend all day at home because I'm not supposed to drive for at least two weeks post-surgery (they're afraid that if I have to brake suddenly it might bother my incision). I would normally dream up all sorts of "things" to do (home improvement projects, books to read, cds to burn, etc), but in between feeding, burping and changing baby, feeding myself and doing a little (a very little) cleaning, there isn't much time left for anything else. So, super-productive I'm not, but at least I'm healing from the surgery and bonding with baby, which are my two main goals.

My entertainment these days consists of reading the paper (when I can), surfing the web (ditto) and reading bits and pieces of my book. If it weren't for Archi-Sapper coming home from work and new episodes of How I Met Your Mother, life would be pretty boring these days.

Posted by Kitty at 02:12 PM | Comments (1)

October 03, 2006


My life has completely changed. For the better. I am now a proud parent, the owner of a new house and am happily enjoying the beginning of my maternity leave.

On Thursday I worked a full day and everything with the baby/pregnancy seemed exactly as it had for the past month -- a few contractions a day (none too painful), but absolutely no signs of going into labor (I would later find out that wouldn't change). I went home and Archi-Sapper brought home some dinner. We ate, watched t.v. and did normal stuff. Around 9:30, I was lying on the couch talking to him, and I thought I might've felt my water break. It was either that, or I was definitely a candidate for Depends, and with pregnancy, you never know. I changed clothes and we decided to go to bed and see how it went. After an hour in bed, I was fairly certain my water had broken, so we gathered the hospital bag stuff and hopped in Archi-Sapper's truck.

He drove to the hospital while I called Labor & Delivery. We got to the hospital around 11:45 or so and the nurse checked me. She brought in the doctor who was on call, who also checked me. The doctor confirmed that my water had broken, so she did an ultrasound. She then said that the baby was breech and was trying to come out butt first -- less than ideal. Given that I'd lost so much fluid already, they didn't have a lot of time. The nurse asked the doctor the exact question I was thinking: "So, is this going to be a tonight thing or are we waiting until morning?" and the doctor said, "We'll be doing surgery tonight. Call her doctor."

At this point, I sort of freaked out, thinking, "I don't know if I'm ready for this." Then I thought, "I don't know how much choice I have, because this baby is going to come out regardless!" Happily, my wonderful doctor came in, even though he wasn't on call, and they told Archi-Sapper to run to the car for the camera, and told me they would drape and prep me and give me a spinal and we'd be in surgery within 20-30 minutes. They weren't kidding around. Two hours later, I had given birth, been sewn up and was in a recovery room across the hall from the OR with a morphine drip in my left hand and the remote control to the t.v. in my right hand.

I stayed in recovery for several hours (a bit longer than normal since my blood pressure was a little high and they wanted to monitor me before sending me to a private room). They brought the baby in several times so I could spend time with him and try to nurse. Archi-Sapper nodded off a few times in the chair next to me when he wasn't in the nursery with baby or making phone calls to family members.

That morning he scooted off to work, ran home and walked the dog and then went to the closing on the house we bought. After the closing he met up with our family members who came in town, and all I can say is, thank God they were here. You need a ton of help when you've given birth, but your needs increase exponentially when you're moving into a new house. Archi-Sapper's family packed up our apartment and unpacked it in the new house. Although AS worked with them, there's no way he could've done all that alone, while running to the hospital to see his wife and new baby.

The baby and I stayed in the hospital (which Archi and I kept accidentally referring to as a "hotel", which is a testament to how nice it was) until yesterday morning. This was my first hospitalization since I was five years old and had my tonsils and adnoids removed, so it had been a while. Although my doctor and the doctors who were on call were great, my hat is off to the amazing nursing staff who took care of me and the baby at all hours of the night, were incredibly knowledgeable and so, so nice.

When the morphine drip made me itch like I was covered in mosquito bites, the nursing staff gave me Benadryl to make the itching stop so I could hold the baby. When the spinal anesthesia was wearing off which made me shiver like I was in the arctic in a bikini, the nursing staff brought me warm blankets and explained to me why I was shaking even though I didn't feel cold. When I was absolutely exhausted from the surgery and lack of sleep but insisted I be woken up at 3:00 a.m. to feed my son because I felt like I'd be a bad mom if I didn't, it was the nursing staff who listened to my husband instead and were nice enough to bring my baby to the nursery at midnight and took care of him and let me sleep so I could heal.

Yesterday, the baby and I came home to our new house and we're adjusting to life without regular deliveries of bland food, IV tubes and having someone check our vital signs every few hours. We're adjusting, but so far all we feel is lucky.

Posted by Kitty at 09:48 AM | Comments (10)