Joining up once again with Kids Were Here.
On our girl....
Little Miss is a night owl. She kicks a little during the day, but she only really gets going at about 10:30 in the p.m. And heaven help me if I wake up (let's say to pee for the 100th time) in the middle of the night. Apparently 3 a.m. is party time in womb world.
But she does not care for cold water. If I'm interpreting her sharp kicks correctly, it downright pisses her off, in fact. Which is unfortunate, because, with as hot as it's been I've been shooting back gallons of it. Y'all think you're tough for doing one little ice bucket challenge, Little Miss isn't even born yet and she's doing, like, ten a day!
On big brother....
We've read some books and talked enough that the Kid has a fuzzy idea of what's about to happen, but he's still confused about many of the particulars. When he was sick a few weeks ago, he kept telling us that his tummy was upset because his baby ("Jack") was kicking him. He also keeps asking when the baby is going to "fall out", which always makes me smile. (If only!)
He does get a little tired of people asking him if he's excited. He's polite about it--"Yes, I'm having a sister and her name is going to be Bette"--but I can tell he'd rather talk trains.
We were originally at least open to the idea of having him present for the birth, but the further along we get, the more I think he's just too young. I'm afraid he would be scared, and I know it will be hard for Sweet Husband or I to reassure him very well given the task that will be at hand.
On the papa....
As the daddies often do, Sweet Husband has been taking care of the pregnant lady's honey-do's. We aren't having any kind of a nursery this time--not even a crib, at first--so it's been more "Can you fix the loose knob on the china cabinet, please?" sort of stuff. (If it doesn't get done now, experience teaches that it might be a year or two, so.)
Also, the laundry and the cleaning up dog vomit and the going out to buy brownie mix.
(Let's take a moment of thanks for the dads right now.)
On top of that, Sweet Husband has also been doing a running streak. (For the unfamiliar, that's where you run at least one mile every day.) He's at day 50, give or take, and I keep telling him he should keep it going until the baby is born. I'm proud of him--that's a lot of getting up early, y'all--but I'll confess, I have ulterior motives, too. I want him in fighting shape to help motivate me when I'm ready to start running again in January or February.
On the mama....
With the help of my new BFF the chiropractor, my back pain has been much lessened and I'm feeling pretty darned good. I've been making an effort to say no to things and pamper myself a little, so I'm sure that doesn't hurt.
Although, what qualifies as pampering has taken on some strange dimensions.
Example: one of my new habits is taking almost religious care of my teeth. I was always decent about that before--so please don't get grossed out--but I had to get a little fanatical earlier this summer because my gums were so swollen. Once I started doing the full, timed brush-floss-mouth rinse routine a few times a day, though, I started to realize how good it actually feels. The Kid and I now have to fight over the handy little flossers his grandpa/dentist sent home with us after our last visit.
In news of the less weird, hello nesting!
Some of it has been the treat-y, cupcake-y kind that involves putting tiny clothes on tiny hangers in the closet and basking in the glow of their adorableness.
But most of it has been the kind that involves writing. I made a big master to-do list of stuff that needs to be done before the baby is born the other day, and I've been attacking it vehemently. I can't tell you how I'm looking forward to spending the holidays in a new baby/maternity leave cocoon. As I indicated the other day, it's been harder to really clear that space this time around, but I'm keeping my eyes on the prize and marching...er, ok, kinda waddling, through.
Posted on August 27, 2014 at 08:23 PM in Happenings Around Home and With Family and Friends | Permalink | 0 Comments | TrackBack (0)
Sweet Husband walked into the bathroom this morning as I was combing my wet hair. "He can't go to school today," he told me over the rim of his cup of coffee.
"Yeah, I had pretty much reached the same conclusion," I frowned. A little cough is one thing, but the Kid was hacking and tearful and obviously not feeling well.
"I can stay home, I guess...." Sweet Husband volunteered.
"No, that's OK. I actually kind of want to."
And despite the fact that I've been trying to hoard hours of sick and vacation leave like dragon's treasure, it was true. I needed a break from the world.
I love my job, but there are days that I'm downright envious of those Scandinavian parents who have paid maternity leave until their kids are, like, twelve. The three months(ish) I'm planning to take off after the baby is born are downright luxurious compared to most of my American pregnant-lady-counterparts, but saving all that time for post-baby means working more-or-less until I go into labor.
Again, I'm lucky. My job is about as un-physically demanding as it gets. I could do it on bed rest if I had to.
But mentally? I'd be a big, fat liar if I tried to pretend that these next few months are going to be anything but exhausting.
And so, I was definitely not super sad when the Kid gave me the chance to call "Uncle!" for the day.
He played trains and napped and watched movies. I played with my new sewing machine and napped and baked pavlova. By five'o'clock, we were both doing better than we had been. It was a sick day well spent.
Posted on August 26, 2014 at 07:58 PM in Happenings Around Home and With Family and Friends | Permalink | 0 Comments | TrackBack (0)
A jar of preserved tomatoes is a wondrous thing. Not only does it carry the overabundance of summer into winter, with a few tucked away in your pantry you can have a homemade dinner on the table in the time it takes to cook spaghetti.
But, for a novice, preserving tomatoes can feel like a choose-your-own-adventure novel. Should you can your tomatoes whole? Make them into sauce or salsa first? Leave the peel on or off? Freeze them?
Everyone has a little different method, so let's start by looking at some of the options.
First, the easiest―just freeze them. This works best with small tomatoes that you're planning to use in soups or for sauce.
To do it, wash and dry the tomatoes, then spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Pop the whole cookie sheet into the freezer for about 24 hours, then move the tomatoes to plastic freezer bags where they'll keep for 4-6 months.
An intermediate option―but one that I think is worth the extra trouble―is to peel the tomatoes first. While not strictly necessary, removing the peel will give your resulting tomato sauce a better texture and flavor.
To do it, cut a small “X” into the skin of each tomato. Working in batches, plunge the tomatoes into a pot of boiling water for 1 minute, and then immediately into a sink of very cold water. This will loosen the skins enough to make peeling easy. Once the tomatoes are peeled, you can core them and pack them into jars for canning or into freezer containers.
The most complicated method is canning the tomatoes to make them shelf-stable. It's a few extra steps, but if you're short on freezer space or you worry about losing power it's worth it.
To do it, first, follow the process above for peeling and coring the tomatoes. Then, put the tomatoes into a saucepan and bring them to a boil. Pour the hot tomatoes into clean glass jars, adding 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice per quart of tomatoes. Wipe the jar rims with a clean towel, pop on the lids, and process in boiling water―35 minutes for pints and 45 minutes for quarts. For more detailed instructions, the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving is a great resource, as is the USDA website.
Below is the method I typically use to preserve tomatoes. While it does tend to fill my freezer up quickly, it keeps my kitchen much cooler than using a boiling water bath. Further, by roasting the tomatoes for a few hours up front, I get the flavor of a slow-cooked sauce with very little work when it comes time to pull my tomatoes out for dinner.
Roasted Freezer Tomatoes (makes about 5 cups)
Peel and core the tomatoes as described above. Break or cut them up into cherry tomato sized pieces, toss with the salt, then spread them on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer.
With your oven set to 350 degrees, roast the tomatoes for an hour or two, stirring them every 30 minutes. When they've cooked down a bit, carefully funnel them into jars or freezer containers. (If you're freezing in glass jars, be sure to leave plenty of head space―an inch or two, at least―so that the jars don't explode.)
Store these tomatoes in the freezer, defrosting them as needed. They'll keep really well for 6 months, but I've eaten and enjoyed them up to a year later.