Sunday, January 30, 2011

January high points

There weren't many. I hate to be mean to January since both Max's and the twins' birthdays are in January but January bites. And there were two high-points: Duck fat and white truffle butter. Gifts given to me by those twins in this month where extra fat is the only way to guard against depression.
I don't usually feel guilty about so much fat but it was so cold when we got back from Salt Lake that a couple of days I couldn't run. As you know, my running consists of forest-trotting every day for a half an hour. But the snow that came in December was so thick it just barely started to melt which meant on days when it was over 20 degrees, I had to run on the road. All those housewives watching me run so slow through their frosty windows. Blech.
The high hope that Max would sleep through the night disappeared in the first few days.
The start of school loomed and then it actually started and although I love my students, all the busy-work of my job started even before the actual semester did. Marketing. I did some marketing. I don't really believe in marketing. The university should speak for itself. But I'd like some more poetry students. So I'm sending missives out into the world, asking for some great poets. This isn't bad but it isn't exactly what I'd like to do with my time. Please send some students preferably when its warm and seductive here.
Also. Erik's remodeling the living room. He scraped the popcorn ceilings (no asbestos. We checked). This will be GREAT news in February but right now is very dusty news.
So I'm looking forward to that February because, even if it's just like January, it's shorter. And then, it will be March, when I can begin to pretend it's spring.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Max was/Max is

100% creature. In early, perhaps extra-sensorily perceiving his would-be Halloween costume, Max started to crawl. But it wasn't a normal crawl. I blame it on our hard tile or wood floors but he had a full-on chimpanzee going. One leg out, one knee forward, he flung himself like a monkey or a wookie or perhaps a one-oared, yet forward-going boat.

A mouth. He's been blowing raspberries for some time now. Most mornings, I wake up to the sound of an outboard motor vrrmming in my ear. Again, it's like boating. But wetter. He likes to stick his hands into your mouth as if counting teeth. He likes to taste everything first--be it food (preferably dog kibble) or magnet or phone. He particularly like my cell phone and it took a knife and some severe pressure to disengage the battery-cover from the back of my Blackberry.

An eater. He likes quinoa and beans and apples, rice, cheese, oatmeal, frosted Mini-wheats, life cereal and yogurt. And yet his not as vegetarian as all that. He likes turkey and chicken and steak. He seems to like potatoes roasted in duck fat. He likes sausage and bacon best of all, just like his sister. And like his sister, he has a sweet tooth. Zoe gave him his first Skittle the other day. Now, if she opens a package, he'll hear it from whereever he is and crawl (now, with all appendages on the ground) cheetah-like to her. He'll clamber up to her on the ottoman and make his "Max noise" which is half whimper, half cry, 100% he knows what he wants.

Opinionated. Max has an opinion on everything. When I should pick him up, put him down, give him some milk, feed him some food, let him play with the water line to the refrigerator, when to sit on my lap and pull the blue mouse-dot in the middle of my computer off. I have found the blue dot in the laundry, in his diaper, in his mouth (of course) and down my shirt. I am lucky to still have a blue dot (although, unlike Max, I don't like the blue mouse dot).

A charmer. He'll turn his head to the right when he see yous. He'll point at you and say "deeth" to say hello. He'll high five and wave and smile this new smile his cousin Cam taught him which is so toothsome and dimple-full (he has an under-eye, upper cheek dimple that is uniquely attractive) and eyesquishing that I'm afraid his smile might make his cheeks pop right off his face. He likes patty cake and when I bounce him and toss him and lean him backwards (over and over again. And then again. Whimper says, "again." See "opinionated").

A laugher. Mostly Zoe makes him laugh but all tickles do, peek-a-boo does, but, back to Z, when Zoe hops, skips, pretends to fall down, hides under a blanket, eats, makes slurping noises. He very much likes it when you put something in your mouth for him to grab. Oh the hilarity there. He mostly laughs whenever you laugh. We laugh a lot just to make him laugh. Which makes us laugh.

A stair climber. It's all he wants to do. He can go up and down now with great ease since it was either learn to turn around and go backwards down or keep crashing on the two steps from the kitchen to the family room. He can even go up and down the steps to the next floor but that is still doomsday what with the two-foot-span railing and all. We're fixing. Soon. Really.

Still not a sleeper. He loves the milk. He's mostly done with the breast. But he still wakes up. Not as much. Maybe half as much. And I shouldn't complain. He's sleeping now.

A good rider-in-the-car. In his one year he has been to Salt Lake and back 4 times, to Torrey twice, to Lake Powell, to Tucson, on a 7 hour camping-spot-seeking-and-failing-adventure, to Phoenix, to Bluff, Utah, and to various and sundry more successful camping-spot-seeking adventures. He can just play and sit and watch and listen for hours. I think he gets at least some of his sleeping done in the car too.

A many-named baby. Zoe calls him bubba. I've mentioned the numb-nuts and succubust here but he's also known as Mr. Squishy, lovebutt, Zuzza, B, Maxa, Maxy, tuddlehead, futzba, bear, magoogally, and buckaroo. I think he'll answer to them all, although I think he likes Bubba and Buckaroo, which his grandpa calls him, best of all.

A smarty-pants. All parents think their kids are the smartest and I am no different. Max has special talents. He can open and close doors and find balls days lost under the couch. He can hand me vegetables when I'm cooking. He knows everyone's name and can make my phone do things I didn't know it could do. He can turn pages of books at just the right time. He's the kind of baby that turns things upside down to see how they work. And then takes them apart. But mostly, he's smart in the opinionated way. He knows how to get what he wants. Maybe that's smarts or maybe that's just because we like him so much and think he's a pretty swell kid. And why not have the blue mouse dot if he really wants it?

A cleaner: As noted on the blog, by my sister Val and by my friend Matt Gephardt, Max likes to vacuum. He'll push the wand back and forth all day. He also mops, but with yogurt, so I don't exactly call it "cleaning." If you give him a rag though, back and forth all day. Z did too. She was more a folder than a scrubber. And yet my house? Not so clean.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

It's already Tuesday

After the long drive home from SLC to Flag, I made macaroni. With truffle butter ($12.99 at Liberty Heights Fresh/D'Artangan). My sister gave me a belated birthday present which made returning to a house with no food a return to a house with a welcoming dinner. I almost cried with the easiness and the deliciousness. I'm doing a lot of almost crying lately. Max. The weaning. It's going. He likes the bottle so much. Too much. Tonight, he went to bed with the bottle and the nipple in his mouth. His dream fulfilled! He misses the breast, obviously. In the morning, after his first night of no boob, Erik brought him into bed. He lifted up my shirt. I called him a succubust. I laughed too hard. It was early.
But I do think the weaning is a good idea. He's drinking like 6 ounces of milk every 5 hours. Way more than I ever pumped. I think he's been so thirsty! No wonder he doesn't sleep. Last night, Erik kept him all night and he woke up once to sleep with Erik at midnight and once again at 5. He usually wakes up at 1, then 5, then 5:45, 6:30, 7:00, 7:30. I think he kept going to the well, hoping it would refill but it was dry. Or dryish. And it would refill a little. Every 45 minutes. During delicious sleep.
Then, last night, with my duck fat ($4.99 Liberty Heights Fresh/D'Artagnan--spell, obviously suspicious. Sisters' commitment to taking off price tags--limited), I made roastd potatoes in duck fat. And then this morning, I took the leftovers, added more fat, and ate them for a post-run snack. And then I licked the tupperware.
Tonight, I made roasted chicken: This is the right recipe. Accept no others. One dish. 1 hour 45 minutes to cook. 1 hour 45 minutes to play with the kids. One dish to clean (although one more if you make chicken stock from the bones). Also, it's a good thing my husband likes breasts (meat, in this case) since I decided to take all the skin off, put it on a separate plate so it wouldn't get soggy and serve it separately. By separate I mean to myself.
Admittedly, repeatedly, the roasted potatoes were cooked in chicken fat very similarly to last night's duck fat, but let's pretend we're doing a taste test. So far, I'd say I like potatoes roasted in fat. Duck fat though--makes me want to wake up in the morning so I can go for a run so I can eat more potatoes roasted in duck fat.
Tomorrow, I head to Phoenix on a research mission. I feel so very professional. I'll eat lunch there. With my research. Yay.
Max's birthday is Thursday. We might eat a lot of pizza for his birthday. Or beans. D'artangan sent me an email today to let me know that Max's birthday--January 6th--is national bean day. Cassoulet for everyone? Or just beans. And quinoa. Max loves quinoa and they say that quinoa is the one perfect substitute for breast milk--so Max's birthday might not feel so much a deprivation as a vegetarian festival (with duck fat).