Thursday, September 20, 2012

Brasil Club

This used to be my favorite sandwich, in my favorite cafe. The barista would roll her eyes and sigh with an amount apathy reserved for only the most favored baristas in those kind of cafes when I ordered it. You know, I get it. I've made this sandwich 4 times this week and it's a major pain in the ass. There are so many ingredients to have on hand and so much preparation of veggies. And it's exactly what my body is craving right now.

I don't expect you to make it. But since I've made it so much lately, I'm at least going to show off my handiwork.

Brasil Club (Vegetarian)
Toasted bread, sliced provolone cheese, chopped walnuts, sliced avocado, grated (raw) beet, grated carrot, sliced cucumber, sliced tomato (yellow in this photo), sliced red onion, alfalfa sprouts, and baby spinach.

At some point, my ingredient notes say that this sandwich included dijon mustard, but I dropped that ingredient and haven't missed it.

Divine. And beautiful, no?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I'm feeling really morning-sickness-crappy. Feeling sick seems to be all I can talk about; I've not been blogging to spare you from feeling like you need to console me. The likely scenario is that I won't feel better for 3 weeks, so let's just put it like it is: this part of pregnancy sucks. Hard. Now, how about about a little more whining? Like Shakespeare's Duke Orsino in Twelfth Night would say,

"Give me excess of it; that surfeiting, the appetite may sicken, and so die."

(Surfeit is a great verb, don't you think? And maybe, just maybe, I can whack this morning sickness thing back into perspective with enough whining. And maybe not.)

Let's start with the weather. If the weather in Colorado was so freaking hot and dry every summer, I would be forced to move the whole family. This is what I've learned about myself: I HATE semi-arid climates. I know that some people move to climates like this to feel (physically) better. I wouldn't be one of them. Additionally, morning sickness sucks a lot more at 94 degrees than 65 degrees. The relentless, hot, beating-down sun makes it impossible to control my pregnant body temperature and I just feel PISSY all the time when I am outside. It's a lucky thing that all my pregnancies have been mostly over the fall-winter-spring, because I don't think I could handle being pregnant in July. That said, it is time for summer in Colorado TO END. Today, I looked at the weather and saw a full week of full sun, with temperatures in the 80s, stretching out before us and, and... I just felt miserable. Yup. I would LOVE rain and cold and wind. Maybe that makes me sound anti-social, but - ugh, these days - just try to have a conversation with me when I am standing in sun.

My mother wants to know if the morning sickness is worse than before. No, but my attitude is worse than before. I'm keeping Fritz very updated on my hourly discomforts (poor guy). I guess I feel the need to make sure that being 'done with having kids' will have his full support after child number three. I think he's a little shocked by the relentlessness of morning sickness. Yesterday, he actually said: "Why do they call it morning sickness? You're sick all the time!" Um. I don't know HOW he missed that on the first two pregnancies. Because, like I said, I don't think it's much different this time around. I am also making sure to point out how much I would theoretically love to have a coffee with him, but how, in reality, I can't even smell it without feeling ill. Or how a beer seems like a perfect drink after the 73rd day of temperatures in the 90s and full sun, but alas, I have queasy feelings at the sight of the bottle. Fritz's response? He's has started making lots of meals, pitching in more with the boys, and cleaning! I'm trying to be whiny here, so I won't spend too long dwelling on the positive, but, all this Fritz help is great. I don't know why I didn't whine more to Fritz during the first two pregnancies. On the one hand, I feel a little sneaky, since all my whining this time does have an ulterior motive. On the other hand, it's kind of nice to drop the Wonder Woman gig.

I'm also tired. I nap with Mattias. I skip smelly meals to stare at the bedroom wall and let my eyelids droop closed. One day, the boys seemed to be playing so nicely in the basement, that instead of doing the laundry (my usual basement task), I just laid myself down on that cool, unfinished concrete slab floor and closed my eyes while they circled around me with their various push toys and cars. And you know what? It was nice. Later, Fritz came to the basement and asked the boys why a nice, clean blanket was lying on the concrete floor. And I just...crawled into bed and opened a book. (I don't think he ever got an answer from the boys.)

My regular clothes have already gotten pretty uncomfortable. My weight hasn't changed, but my shape has. I pulled out my maternity clothes. (Yes! I still have them. I thought if I got rid of them, that would guarantee another child. Clearly, the inverse is not true.) The maternity clothes don't really fit, either. How can I have so many clothes and none of them fit? I tried to remember what I wore during the first trimester with Noah and Mattias. It's a blur. I finally found a few items that work. Like pajamas. Then I started feeling VERY aggressive towards the ridiculous number of clothes in my closet that don't even fit. The way our bodies swing in size and shape between pregnancy and non-pregnancy feels so wasteful and excessive. Really, I just want to throw out half the clothes in my closet - but that's hard to do when you're looking at another year of extreme change. I guess that I should also mention that I HATE TO SHOP and I hate to spend even small amounts of money on things that are mediocre or temporary, which I'm sure has a lot to do with my anger over my wardrobe bubble.

Well, amazing! After all that whining, I am feeling somewhat surfeited! We'll see how long it lasts.

Oh, and on a related note - there's just One, due at the end of April. (Small sigh of relief.)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I finished sanding and stripping ONE dining room chair. I stood in Home Depot, by myself, for 15 minutes pondering the various staining options this morning. Huh. I think I want something light, but what if the wood isn't in good enough condition and it looks bad? The blog survey says I should do light. But all this light stain looks oak-y. Even the clear looks oak-y. I don't know if I like oak. Maybe I should just pick something darker to match the walnut island in the kitchen? And the table. The table is dark. Maybe I should pick something dark. A store employee comes by and, in an uncharacteristic fashion, I dump all my ponderings on him.

"Well," he asks, "What kind of wood is it? Is it a soft wood? Here's a prestain formula to bring out the grain and prevent blotchiness in old wood."

I pick up the can and read the back while he quickly escapes this indecisive customer. The can says, USE CAUTION WHEN SANDING OLD FURNITURE. SANDING MAY RELEASE LEAD DUST. I feel rather ill. I'm done sanding, I tell myself. No more chair sanding. But I still don't know what stain I want for my ONE chair, so I walk out of the store empty-handed.

I focus on the positive. The whole experience: standing in the store, pondering for 15 minutes, chatting with an employee, and then walking out of the store undecided: it felt luxurious. Like, what mother of young children has time to act this way? In my life over the last five years, there are always kids to attend to, always things to be cleaned and meals to be made. But not today. Who has time to act this way? I do, I whisper to myself. *I* have time. *I* can be indecisive.

This summer we managed a pretty good pace of activity. There were still a couple of days in there when the boredom reached the danger zone. But for the most part, I felt like the boys played together a lot. They've gotten very good at togetherness and it makes my heart happy. Noah managed to have enough time and space doing his own thing with his own friends. There was a good variety of visitors; from grandparents to colleagues to friends. And there was a good amount of traveling. Fritz and I squeezed in TWO adult only trips. (Yay!) And somehow, more or less, the summer felt balanced and good and right.

We all adapted to the new school year routine around here with relative ease. It makes me quite proud, really: Noah is in Kindergarten for 7 hours a day. We worried that he would be exhausted, but so far he seems to find school a source of strength and focus. He both goes to school and comes home with confidence and I spend a lot of my time nodding my head and thinking, yes, he was ready.

Mattias started a two morning a week parents day out program – an opportunity that snuck up on us midsummer. Originally, I planned to keep him home with me. I was looking forward to the one-on-one time with him. Potty training! Undo some big brother influences! Also, Mattias is enormously easy for me to spend time with; he's got a great balance of independence and imagination. Why, last week I cleaned out my closet while he played. Productive work while child minding?! It struck me as a truly amazing feat, one that never would have been accomplished had it been just Noah and I. Nonetheless, the PDO program is turning out to be a good thing: Mattias loves the opportunity to have his own special activity. And I get a bit of time completely to myself (in Home Depot). There's still plenty of time for one-on-one. We'll start potty training any day now.

But then, maybe when things start seeming too luxurious, I subconsciously stir them back up? That's the only way I can describe how I find myself pregnant again. Because I was really okay with two kids. I think/thought I was, anyway. Babies are a lot of work. Babies make lead dust and solo trips to Home Depot a big problem. I really love my 2 year old and 5 year old. I love being able to hold conversations with them. I love their independence. I don't have that ache in my arms to hold another baby. These seem like insensitive and selfish things to type. If life were like playing cards, I can think of many people I would willingly swap cards with. (Thank you, Rooth, for the analogy.) And I have to tell you honestly, I was okay, as it was.

I'm still okay. I am. I'm just...I'm adjusting. I am, slowly, carefully. I'll be ready by the time the baby comes. It's early. Only six weeks: I still need to have a doctor to confirm. When I told Fritz that I was going to go internet public, he reminded me of all the things that can go wrong in the first trimester. But I think, at this point in my life, the possibility of sad and tragic outcomes have stopped holding my tongue. If I'm a human potion bottle - I can't possibly keep one more tainted ingredient bottled up.

So, instead, I'm just opening up and telling you: I'm pregnant. Fritz is thrilled (having always wanted three). I'm adjusting and feeling generally nauseated from morning sickness. The boys are mostly still oblivious (although we did tell them). Sometimes, when you have two of the same gender, people presume you are trying for a different gender. No. We're not 'trying' for a girl. (I'm rather hoping for a boy, because, I think I've got the boy-thing figured out. A girl sounds like too much new territory.)

I've always thought one of the drawbacks of the first trimester is that your body goes through so much adjustment. And mostly you go through it alone; because social conventions say: we don't talk until 16 weeks. I'll never forget standing on the UBahn in Germany, feeling very ill, and just wanting to sit down. But who knows you're pregnant at 6 weeks? Nobody. So nobody offered me a seat and I stood there, trying not to throw up on the people sitting below me. It was miserable. In spite of the fact I was very happy to be pregnant. Later, when I was 36 weeks pregnant, and people jumped from their seats to offer me a space to sit on the UBahn, all I could think was: I really wish I'd had this opportunity at 6 weeks.

Which is another reason why, this time around, I'm doing things a little differently.