Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What a difference a year makes

So I've been adding to this blog for one whole year now. Go me. My goal was to have 100 posts by now, but alas, this only makes number 95. That whole raising a child thing threw a wrench in my big plans apparently.

You'd think after a year of doing this that I would have a better idea how to categorize this blog, but I don't. One day it might be all baby stories and the next it could be a recipe or some political rant that I have to get off my chest. I guess this blog is a grab bag or a box of chocolates if your mama was of the Forrest Gump school of thought. And every now and then I'll probably write something that tastes as crappy to you as whatever those disgusting pink centered chocolates taste to me. But I hope to occasionally provide you with a delicious chocolate covered peanut or two as well.

Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings over the last year. I've enjoyed reading your feedback and learning from your experiences in the comments section. My goal for 2010 (is it just me or does that sound far off into the future, like we should be flying around with jetpacks four months from now?) is to have more dialogue going on in the comments section. I just wish blogger made it a bit easier to leave feedback.

I'd like to run a little contest as a gesture of thanks. So please leave a comment on this post and I will randomly pick a winner to receive a grab bag of goodies picked out by yours truly and the almost six-month old baby North. But don't let his involvement deter you. I probably won't have him help me too much. Otherwise, the winner will get rewarded with very strange prizes like a wet washcloth, a beer bottle or some other random item that he currently covets. Maybe I'll write the names of anyone that leaves a comment on a piece of paper and put them in a hat. Whichever one North picks and attempts to eat is the winner.

Anyway, I'll pick a winner once I've made it to my goal of 100 posts. But really guys, you're all winners in my book.

Edited to add: Please be sure to leave at least your name with your comment so I can identify you. This whole running a contest thing is trickier than I thought it would be! But I'm having so much fun collecting little things that make me happy to send the winner, I might run these contests more often. Please bear with me as I figure out the best way to do this.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kanye West saves America?

Have you seen the video of Kanye West interrupting the VMA's country starlet, Taylor Swift's acceptance speech yet? I think we've all seen it yes? Can we all agree that Kanye West was way out of line and a douche bag?

I want to hear Democrats and Republicans agree on this people! Like it or not, even our president has been caught on tape calling Mr. West a jackass.

Can we all nod our heads in agreement with the leader of the free world on this? Let us all reach across the aisles, hold hands (?) apparently and know that our side is the side of truth. Kanye West is indeed a jackass for interrupting that sweet country singer as she accepted her award.

Mr. West will go down in history as the great uniter from this day forward. It's like he somehow realized all America needed was a cause all of the people could really get behind you know? He has since succeeded in bringing the American people back together; so in unison, the populous could proclaim him to be a douche. Thank you Kanye West. You may have saved America.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Your formatting stings

Has the press pounded the 'lack of manners in the modern world' subject into the ground yet? Because I've got something to say about it! But no, I don't want to talk about Mr. Wilson, Mr. West or Ms. Williams. Except, is it something with the "W" last name? Typing them out like that, I'm seeing a pattern is all I'm saying.

My issue has to do with a certain freecycler that I recently corresponded with. He listed some mason jars as available on my local board along with some other confusing emails to the general group grumbling about "no shows" from the last time he listed these jars, etc. Anyway, I politely inquired as to the status of said mason jars, explaining that multiple posts were wrongly timestamped in my Inbox etc.

I received the response, "THEY ARE TAKEN."

I ask you sir, was it not good enough to yell at me? Did you have to spit on my face with the bold formatting too? Why did you take the time to not only caps lock but also bold your text? Meanie.

My gut inclination was to hit reply again and type
" OK THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" in 24 font comic sans---an effort to make his eyes bleed from such e-motion. I wanted to underline it, italicize it, even shade it if necessary! Color it purple perhaps? But I bit my hands and clicked my "X" instead. Today sir, I AM the bigger person!

I believe you need some classes in Anger Formatting Management.

Stuffed Delicata Squash

This is a delicata squash. The outside flesh is edible and delicious so you don't have to worry about peeling it off before working with the squash. There are seeds inside that must be scooped out much like a butternut squash though. Still, the delicata squash is often overlooked, which is a shame because they are so easy to prepare.

Here is that same delicata squash filled with sausage stuffing cooking on the grill.

I cut the squash in half lengthwise and scooped out the seeds. Once the seeds were out, I couldn't resist filling up the little cavity I had created in it. So I grabbed some stuffing out of the pantry and prepared enough to fill up each cavity. Because I had it on hand, I also threw some sausage, tomatoes and onion in the pot of stuffing too.

I coated each squash half generously in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder and threw them on the grill for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. You could also bake the squash cut side up in 1/2 inch of water for a half hour at 350 degrees in your over if you prefer. I stabbed them a bit with a fork to see if they were tender enough and took them off the grill. Then I stuffed them with the prepared stuffing and put some cheese on top before putting them back on the grill for another 5 minutes or so.

We have more delicata coming tomorrow from the CSA tomorrow. I'm thinking I might fill that cavity with rice and beans this week. Or maybe some garlic walnut quinoa?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

5 Months

Dear North,

The past month of your life has been the most challenging and the most rewarding so far. While your father and I are a little foggy with sleep deprivation from being up with you every hour or two through the night; you are wowing us during the daytime hours with all of your mad skills. Slowly, you are becoming more independent and interactive with the world beyond just us.

You hang out on your play pad and happily chatter at your stuffed animals as you play with your feet. I'd love to know what you are saying to them. You are probably telling them all about your awesome feet and how suckable they are I imagine.

If I had to guess what your favorite thing is right now, I'd say your big toes. Last week, I carried little naked you to your bath like a miniature yogi statue while you sucked on both big toes simultaneously.

You love to touch everything and put it in your mouth, not just your toes. Often, we carry you around outside to touch different plants which seems to calm you down when you're in a funk. I've never seen a child so fascinated by plants and we wonder if you will be a botanist or a landscape architect some day. But then, you seem to have a similar fascination with beer bottles too. So we're still narrowing down your career path at 5 months.

You enjoy spending your days drooling through clothes, giggling, smiling, squealing like a stuck pig, devouring oatmeal, petting Jake, pulling my hair, and beeping the horn of your Jeep walker as we push you around the house making traffic sound effects. Sometimes you even decide to take a nap.

We just got back from a trip to the Outer Banks over Labor Day. We arrived in Nags Head on Friday night hungry and frazzled after listening to you scream/cry for the last hour of the trip. I think you were just fed up with being confined in your car seat for so long. After we checked into our tiny room, I sat on the bed holding you in my lap and I smelled something unpleasant. Looking down at you, I saw poop had found its way out of your diaper onto me and the bed and you just sat there grinning up at me. Now that you only poop once or twice a week, when you do have a bowel movement it is a poop power explosion. And now that you're eating solids, they are stinky peanut butter consistency poops. They are very delicious to clean up when mom and dad are hungry.

So after we managed to get you all cleaned up, we decided I would get you to sleep while your dad went out and scrounged us up some food since it was already after 9:00 PM. He came back within 10 minutes carrying a pound of steamed shrimp and a huge container of rice and beans from Tortugas Lie. As your poopy diaper dried in the air conditioned breeze, we ate a romantic dinner atop our makeshift cooler table serenaded by the sound of you crying a few feet away. It was one of the most delicious meals I have ever eaten and although it is absurd, it really was romantic to sit in such squalor and eat such fantastic food with the two people I love most in the world.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

To all the haters

I think there is a sickness spreading in the world to be against something simply for the sake of being against it. I don't know where it stems from, but I'm noticing a trend of behavior in people to get bent out of shape over the most innocuous of subjects. I see it on message boards and blogs all the time where it's referred to as "flaming."  People seem to get drunk on the power of their own aggression.  Often armed with online anonymity, they'll spout off their vitriol about, well, pretty much anything. 

The latest aim of these hater's ire is the pregnancy time lapse video, like the  video Dave made of me during my pregnancy.  A Canadian website found our video and contacted Dave last week to get his insight into why we made the video and posted it on youtube.  Seems innocent enough right? We are mentioned in this article (although if I was her editor, I would have cut this part out entirely, as it has nothing to do with her overall theme.  Kind of like this little aside of mine.  Ahem.)  What I find interesting  is not so much the article itself, but some of the comments it is generating.  I can fathom the comments that call the creators of these videos navel gazers. Haha, because you know, that's precisely what it is watching the expanding belly grow.  Some people are not so kind though and refer to anyone that would make a pregnancy video as an  "exhibitionist" and "egocentric".  Mmm okay, a bit strongly worded, but I'll take that.  Then there are a couple of haters calling the time-lapse videos "vulgar" and "disgusting".  Huh?  Are we on the same planet?  

Our motivation for making the video was for documentation purposes.  We wanted to make it accessible to our friends and family that live far away.  Moreover, I want our child to be able to see this video and know that the expanding belly he sees in the video is the start of his life.  Any pregnancy is a blessing and a miracle.  How do those naysayers think they were brought into the world? Anyone that cannot find beauty in these videos must be in a sad state indeed.  I truly pity them.

I pity them in the same way that I felt sorry for the conservative zealots that contacted their child's school and demanded Obama's back to school speech be boycotted.  They were outraged that Obama was attempting to "indoctrinate students with his socialist agenda".  The speech, given this morning,  stresses the importance of hard work, staying in school,  personal responsibility and accountability.  (For a full transcript of the speech, here's a link to Fox News's coverage and some scary comments from quite a few zealots that have overdosed on some right wing flavored hate kool aid.)  Of course,  I defend any one's right to say and believe what they want to believe no matter how self defeating or ignorant I find their opinions to be.  But it still makes me sad.  

Even when you try to do good, some one's panties are going to get wadded up over it. What a pitiful state of affairs.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Beach and beer

For those keeping score at home, North is winning the War on Sleep. I'm not complaining, just stating facts. I now think that he is teething. But what I think changes every day. Have you noticed? I'm sure next week I will be convinced that the feng shui of the room is making sleep impossible for him or that his mullet is keeping him from sleeping.

In other news, we are headed to the Outer Banks this afternoon to spend the holiday weekend with family and friends. We're going down a day early because of the most delicious lemongrass wheat beer in the world sold at this Outer Banks Brewing Station. Per their website, they are America's first wind powered brew pub. The restaurant space doubles as a stage for bands to play at night. While guests enjoy their meal, they are free to marvel at the brewing equipment visible through windows adjacent to the lower dining room. It's a cool place to check out if you find yourself in the neighborhood. Even if you just pop your head in to use the bathroom (decorated in repurposed romance novel covers) or to buy a growler of beer. The food is delicious, but the beer, the beer is amazing.

I'll leave you with pictures of what our following days will be filled with.
Feet sucking!
Baby sharks!