Saturday, April 26, 2014

Seven Quick Easter Takes

Natural light does wonders for my photography skills
Tad turned five months old on Easter Sunday. I think last time I updated was not long after he turned four months. That's probably because it's been a tiring month. First we had a growth spurt, and then a developmental spurt (he consistently rolls back to front now), and then I think teeth (though he has yet to pop one through). I thought it was exhausting having to pace back and forth carrying the baby in order to keep him happy. Let me tell you, it's even more exhausting when pacing just keeps his screaming down to a dull whine.

I have no idea how much he weighs because he doesn't have another checkup until 6 months. My lower back says, "A lot."

All three of us went to Mass on Holy Thursday, and then Tad and I went to the Good Friday service by ourselves. This was less penitential than I imagined it would be; it was around his naptime and he miraculously slept most of the time.

The next day we went to the Easter Vigil around Tad's bedtime and he slept for the first hour and a half but then things got too bright and noisy for him and he got increasingly fussy. Fortunately he waited to melt down completely until Mass was over.

*Before* a 3-hour Mass that started at bedtime
Sunday afternoon we visited Scott's family. I was totally that obnoxious person and corrected my in-laws repeatedly when they kept talking about Tad's "first Easter." I did concede that last year he was busy differentiating his cells into different germ layers and stuff, so he probably didn't notice, but it's still his second Easter.

Then on Monday afternoon Tad had an appointment for a double frenectomy. (Tongue and upper lip.) The dentist who did it was very impressed that we managed to nurse this long.

Right after the procedure Tad nursed like a champ (seriously, I didn't realize just how uncomfortable nursing was for me until it wasn't), but then once the numbing gel wore off he regressed considerably. He does have five months of bad sucking habits to unlearn, so I'm trying to take it slow.

Yesterday we went to my trusty lactation consultant friend in the morning. (She squealed over how awesome we are and said I was doing his mouth exercises exactly right.) Then we went to the chiropractor in the afternoon for some craniosacral therapy. (Even if it's bunk, he loves the chiropractor and tells her about all his problems. It's seriously hilarious. I think he genuinely believes that she can understand his babbling.)

Did I mention that Tad is rolling both ways now? He rolled back-to-front once several weeks ago and then didn't again so I figured it was a fluke. Then about two weeks ago he suddenly started doing it several times a day, every day. (And at night. A baby who wakes himself up by rolling over has got to be one of the most annoying things ever.) So now instead of playing happily on his back he rolls onto his belly and screams with impotent rage because he can't crawl.

The chiropractor says his sitting-up ability is weak. I think that's because he hates being in one spot, so he has no motivation to sit. I'm still doing remedial sitting practice with him, though. I've got to project my overachiever nature on him sometimes.

The parish to which Scott and I belong is building a perpetual Adoration chapel. We signed up for a holy hour, because we are crazy. I did make sure to sign us up as one person, though, so we can at least take turns pacing around the parish grounds with the baby. (Our holy hour is right after our usual Mass, so one of us going alone isn't particularly feasible. I guess we'll see how it goes, though.)

We got a fairly large tax refund this year (having babies can be useful that way) and are planning to use it to pay off one of our smaller student loans. I will be happy when we actually do that; having the extra money just sitting there makes me worried that our car is going to break down for good or somebody's going to end up in the ER or something and it will all go *poof*.

In conclusion, here is a picture of my baby in a bear suit.

Your argument is invalid.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Seven Quick Takes: Running over

Tad has definitely entered his Baby Velociraptor phase. If you don't know what that is, you have lucky ears. It's adorable, but I seriously need to stop holding him with his head right next to my ear.

My total grocery spending for March was about $205. I am quite pleased. (This includes non-food household items but not OTC medications. It does not include all the stuff I get through WIC, which is why it's 200-ish and not 250- or 300-ish.)

Last weekend, every living descendant of my maternal grandparents managed to be in the same room--13 of us, plus 4 in-laws. My mother's side of the family is not terribly prolific.

Funny story: We were asking my 18-year-old cousin about her college plans and she was saying she wanted to go into nursing. My 7-year-old sister exclaimed, "You're going to have a baby!?" and we were quick to say, "No, not THAT kind of nursing." And then everybody laughed and Teresa sulked because she didn't get what was so funny.

At one point my aunt was asking about Tad's habits and preferences and ended up saying that he sounded like a pretty normal baby. I said, "Well, we think he's the cutest and smartest baby to ever grace the planet." She replied, "I think every baby deserves to have somebody think they're the cutest and the smartest for a while." I thought that was a really sweet sentiment.

I must have sufficiently culled my Facebook friends list, because I didn't see a single annoying April Fool's Day status this year. That holiday just drives me nuts. I don't have the right temperament for pranks or something.

A bit of nostalgia: Last year on April 1, I took a second pregnancy test because I apparently didn't believe the one I'd taken the previous morning. It was positive, of course, but then I started spotting an hour later. The day ended up being a big ball of stress and phone calls and getting bloodwork done.

Fortunately, the whole positive pregnancy test thing didn't end up being a cosmic April Fool's Day joke.

While we're being nostalgic, today marks 6 years since Scott informed me that his list of reasons for not dating me was flawed. He's super romantic that way. :)

The other day I was over on Margaret's blog and came across this quote:

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)

The baby was sleeping in my lap when I read it. I cried.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Shoemaker Friday Tomato Soup

A guest post by my husband

Attempting to approximate alchemical methodology more than modern recipe methodology...

* * *

Two parts milk to one part tomato sauce. (E.g., two cups milk to every eight ounce can of sauce, or four cups to every sixteen ounce can.)

Two parts tomato sauce to one part essence of tomato. (Presuming one fresh tomato is approximately one cup, based on similarity in size to an eight ounce can. Essence of tomato may be extracted from fresh tomatoes via the food processing methods "grind","blend", "puree" etc.)

As many diced or chopped tomatoes as desired.

A small dusting of Italian spices such as onion, garlic, oregano, basil etc. (No more than a full shake of each for eight cups of milk. Only a small shake or two for anything less. Verily this ought to make the flavor slightly more rich than "tomato sauce and milk mixed together," but without anyone actually being able to tell that Italian spices are in the soup, as it is not intended to taste Italian. I suppose real, native Italians must have their own ways to effect the transmutation of tomato soup, but I cannot imagine it resembles the Italian-bespiced tomato sauces used as a part of their other delicacies.)

An array of grilled cheese sandwiches with muenster cheese and overly buttered bread.

* * *

Mix reagents but for the sandwiches and heat until steaming, then reduce heat to prevent curdling the milk, stirring as necessary. This will take practice to master. If the milk curdles the mixture is still good, but sure hot without curdles is better -- verily the texture is smoother and the flavor may just be a tad more rich. Leaving the mixture on this lowered heat for a longer time may thicken sauce; effects require further experimentation.

Embowl mixture. (Sic. Not embowel.)

Apply mixture to grilled cheese sandwiches via dunking of the sandwiches in the bowls of soup. Cross-contamination of cheese grease and fried butter into the mixture is desirable.

Salt soup to taste.

Consume or devour.

Entertain guests if applicable.

Entertain wife.

Entertain child.

Cleanse spectacles if necessary.