Jun 17 2009

State of the… Uh… whatever.

Daycare:
Cole and I visited the potential other daycare. It was… okay. I liked the provider and a lot of the parents I saw there (know them either personally or from cool stuff around town), but I didn’t like the lack of supervision, the amount of places for kids to hide, or the incredible amount of stairs. Concrete stairs. Concrete stairs that Cole nearly fell down JUST DURING OUR VISIT. So I’m torn. I’m afraid, on one hand, that I’m being overprotective, but I also know that I’ve sincerely regretted not following my gut on these things before, and I had previously vowed to myself not to make that mistake again. My gut tells me that it’s not the right fit for us.

Cole:
Is awesome. But that’s nothing new. He will also SPANK you at Wii boxing, and that is new. He kicked the pants off of his daddy and his pop last weekend, something that pleased him greatly.

My belly:
WOW, is this pregnancy ever different than my last. I was never in this much discomfort for this long of a time. Also, the past couple weeks have brought the joy of panicking about pre-term labor because of the amount of contractions. To be truthful, it’s only been mild panic because I haven’t lost my plug, so I know it’s not quite as imminent as it at times feels, but still… I hate sitting there and wondering if I should bug my midwife when I know it’s only practice labor.

Also new this time around: my belly button popped out. Kind of. Like, the top did a little and the rest is flat. I don’t actually think my belly button was ever deep enough to really pop out like some women’s do, but it didn’t even go this far last time.

With only about 32 days to go:

I had to break down and buy new bras because I literally was struggling to breath, the bands were so tight on every bra. The new ones are a huge improvement. I no longer find myself with my hand down my shirt, holding my bra away from my chest to catch a breath! That’s money well spent.

Baby Roo:
I had a flash last night of what she might look like. All this time, I’ve been struggling to picture her; to picture any tiny newborn at all, including Cole. It was weird, like I had a block against remembering what any infant less than 3 months old looked like.

But, finally, I pictured her: sleeping and cuddled in a sling around my body. She was beautiful.

We have a month left, and with me not working and Cole at home, it’s going to go fast. I mean, I actually had to panic legitimately the other night when I realized that I had forgotten to order something for the birth and wasn’t sure that I could get it on time (it’s fine- it will be here in plenty of time, I’ve been assured).

And, at this point anyway, there’s nothing that I’m not looking forward to about the birth. I’ll be happy to go through it and have Roo here, but I’m equally happy having more time with Cole before that happens. Despite my discomfort, I feel amazingly good about the head-space I’m in.

Jun 17 2009

Hummus

John and I have a mild addiction to hummus. It’s also something that I can pretty consistently get Cole to eat. Unfortunately, it’s also stupidly expensive, and Costco only occasionally carries it at a reasonable price. So I started thinking: how hard could it possibly be to make it myself? Answer: NOT AT ALL, and dead-cheap to boot.

Hummus
1 can Garbanzo beans (15-16oz)
2-5 tbs lemon juice (I use at least 5 because I like that tang)
1/4 cup reserved bean juice
2 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed (or more, if you really love garlic)
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbs tahini

Dump it all into a blender or food processor and process until smooth (doesn’t take long!). After pouring it into whatever serving dish you’re using, you can make a well in the center and pour a little more (1-2 tbs) olive oil over it, but I don’t do that. You can also sprinkle on parsley, but I don’t do that, either. I like serving it with “Naked” pita chips, carrot sticks, and sugar snap peas. Cole likes shoveling it into his mouth with his fingers.

It’s great as a quick appetizer to take to a potluck or as a summer dinner when you just can’t bear to heat anything. Or when you’ve forgotten to defrost the chicken breasts. Again. Not that I know anything about that.

Jun 11 2009

Artistic/Intellectual Property

This morning I came across a post by one of my favorite odd bloggers. In it, she posted pictures of herself that immediately resonated with me. I suddenly knew that I wanted to do pictures like this of myself while I am still pregnant.

But then I started thinking about, firstly, artistic etiquette and, secondly, artistic and intellectual property rights.

The situation is like this: I see an artistic project that I like and that inspires me to want to do something similar, though not identical. I ask a friend to help with a particular, important, and highly visible aspect of the project, and ask another friend to take the photos.

My questions are these: Do I first ask for permission from the original artist(s) to do this project? And then, once the project is done, who does it belong to? Is it the original artist(s)? Is it me, who thought of the new spin and posed for the photos? Is it the friend with the important contribution? Is it the photographer?

Think of it like this- if any of the individuals involved in the project wanted to enter the photos into a show, could each of us enter the same photo separately, siting our particular contribution as the most important aspect? To whom does ultimate credit go? To an individual? To the group?

Is it artistic plagiarism in the first place?

Also- anyone want to help me with a project?

Jun 10 2009

Daycare Debacle

The one where Cole was hit and I wanted to remove him from his school immediately but, instead, let “reason” and “practicality” win out, leading to him still being there for one more week and me feeling paranoid EVERY SINGLE DAY and grilling him on what has happened and if he’s gotten in trouble or hit or ANYTHING and basically not trusting anything his daycare lady says? Yeah… it’s working itself out.

No. No- WE’RE working it out. I take all the credit for us here, because nothing would have changed if not for us, and it’s been fucking stressful.

We have one more week of care, and then I go on disability and Cole will stay with me, probably until September 1st. After that, so far, our options seem to be:

1) Put him in the Nursery program at the local Waldorf school where I went (from grades 5-8).
2) Put him in another home-based daycare that’s been recommended to me by people I trust.
3) Some combination of the two.

The first two certainly have their strengths and weaknesses. I really like the idea of Cole entering the Waldorf program because I think it’s a wonderful start for the arts, music, drama, and foreign language that he’s not likely to get many other places. I also am VERY drawn to the idea of being in that community, myself. I’ve tried to start up friendships elsewhere, but nothing has really taken. Here, though, there is a built-in community that I (more or less) have things in common with already. Educated, fairly liberal, professional, 30-somethings with kids? In THIS area? Sometimes it feels like we’re the only ones, though I know that’s not true. Driving into the Waldorf school parking lot was like discovering a new world populated by people just like that, and it was amazing. He can also stay there for next year and move seamlessly into the Kindergarten class with kids he already knows.

Its weaknesses are that I don’t completely buy some of the Waldorf educational philosophies (no reading until much later than public schools- that’s not alright with me. I LOVED reading as a kid, and was reading quite well by first grade), though I certainly think that public school is far from perfect. Also that the program is either Tuesdays and Thursdays, half-day OR Mon, Wed, Fri, half-day. Not exactly a great match with my working schedule.

The major strength of the home-care is a fuller schedule (though she doesn’t work on Thursdays, stops at 4:30 on M-W, and stops at 3 on Fri) (by the way- WTF is up with THAT?!) that’s year-round. The weaknesses there are that 1) it’s another home-care, 2) it’s still not full-time, 3) I have NO idea of her teaching philosophies, and 4) he’ll need to go somewhere else in a year for Kindergarten.

There is a chance that we may be able to have the best of both worlds, sending him to Waldorf T and TH and to the home-care M,W,F, but I won’t know until this Friday when we interview at the home-care.

I know- this is boring the SHIT out of you, but I keep needing to talk about this, re-hash it, re-think it so that I can be as sure as I can be that we’re doing the right thing for us and for him. There are no perfect answers here, and any way that we go is going to be a struggle. He’s WELL worth it, of course, but there are certain “solutions” that are far more crazy-making for me and/or our budget. We’re trying to achieve balance, hardly knowing the sizes of the loads we’ll be expected to carry.

Jun 08 2009

Spinach Pockets

I made spinach pockets for dinner tonight, and YUM and EASY are about the two best descriptors. John and I had seconds and Cole even powered one down (and he’s a notorious picky-butt).

Spinach Pockets

  • 1lb box frozen Phyllo (Filo) dough (but only 1/2 is used- keep the other half frozen)
  • 1 box frozen, chopped spinach
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 egg
  • about 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • salt
  • pepper
  • butter

Follow the instructions on the box for defrosting the phyllo. Preheat oven to 400F.

Combine defrosted spinach (I heated it in the bowl I used to combine everything in the microwave for 4 minutes and it was plenty warm), feta, egg, onion, salt, and pepper in a bowl and set aside.

On a greased (I used olive oil) cookie sheet, fold one sheet of phyllo in half crosswise and lightly brush with butter. Repeat with 2 more pieces. Scoop about 1/4 cup (or use your discretion, just beware of over-filling) of spinach mixture onto one end of the phyllo, leaving about a 1-2 inch border. Fold the other end of the phyllo sheets over the top and fold edges under. Repeat until filling is used up (I got 7 pockets out of it). Brush tops of pockets lightly with more butter.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden-tan and crispy. Watch out! These suckers are HOT when they come out, and it takes them a while to cool. Leave plenty of time before serving to kids, particularly. Cutting them in half helps.

So good, so fast, so cheap. NOM.

Jun 02 2009

So Embarrassing

I did something last week that I said I would never do. Even worse, I liked it. I feel dirty and ashamed, but it felt so good that I want to do it again.

I tried on Crocs.

In my defense, I am having trouble with bending over and foot-swelling these days, leaving me with not much more to wear than flip-flops. And flip-flops are okay, I guess, except that I dislike having no closed-toe shoes.

So I tried these on, making sure no one saw me. And I liked them. And (gulp) now I think I’m going to buy them.

Please don’t judge me too harshly- I’m under the influence of some pretty wicked hormones and I may not be entirely in control of my actions.

Jun 01 2009

How Much More Can Happen in 3 Days?