37 Weeks: What’s Cooking

28 08 2011

With no nursery to go nuts decorating, and no money with which to go crazy buying baby stuff, and without an attention span conducive to white-glove-cleaning, my nesting instincts have been primarily satisfied in a culinary manner.  That is to say that I have been frantically filling my freezer with homemade meals, with the understanding that for some time post-baby, I won’t really feel like whipping up a meal.  Since I barely have the motivation to cook once or twice a week without an infant in the house, I am on board with not cooking once I’m seriously lacking sleep.

Okay, so by “frantically filling my freezer,” I mean that I am cooking when it isn’t too hot (mind you, it’s August in the high desert), when I’m not too tired (mind you, I’m about 9 months pregnant), when there isn’t something better to do (mind you, we have Netflix streaming for several hours a day), and when I’ve successfully brought home all the ingredients from the store (typically by my 3rd trip).

For the record, I do not have any skills in the kitchen.  In fact, I suck at reading recipes and following directions, which is why it takes me 3 trips to the store to gather everything I need for any given recipe.  And I am stymied by seemingly simple challenges.  Like when the whisk got hopelessly coated with a parmesan sauce: it sat next to the sink for two weeks until I eventually (successfully!) chipped the hardened cheese off; the garlic press is still there, because I haven’t found a way to get the squished garlic out of it.

Also, I can only face scenes like this so many times a week:

Okay, that’s not even half the mess I usually make, but what’s special about this particular set of dirty dishes is that they were created just before we went camping for three days.  We were only home for 24 hours before we headed off to the valley for another three days, during which time I did laundry.  Not dishes.  So these are week old dishes.  And that is a depressing sight.

Also, it is somewhat of a deterrent that we keep eating while I’m trying to hoard all this food.  I prepare three different dishes, and when Jason asks if there’s anything for dinner, I kind of freak out a little: “NO!  There’s NO FOOD IN THE HOUSE!  Order a flippin’ pizza if you’re hungry!”  “But it smells like you’ve been cooking…”  “NO.  I HAVE NOT BEEN COOKING.  GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN…. DON’T LOOK IN THERE  – GET AWAY FROM THE FREEZER!  STOP!  STOP!”

But here’s what I’ve managed to get in the freezer so far:

Turkey Chili, Beef Chili, and White Bean Chili

Chicken Nuggets (2 bags)

Spinach Pie x2

Beef Enchiladas x2

Black Bean Enchiladas x3

Beef Burritos x12

Lasagna x2

Chicken Tetrazini x2

Mini Meatloaves x4

Beef and Cheese Stuffed Rolls x24

BBQ Burritos x8

And more on the way… I’ve got at least two-thirds the ingredients for zucchini lasagna (after 2 trips to the store with a grocery list), and a long weekend coming up.

In addition to cooking meals, I’m still cooking this baby, who doesn’t seem any closer to being done than she was a week ago, or a month ago.  However, since I have at most 5 weeks left, and just 3 weeks left until my due date (actually, it took so long to write this post, I am now 38 weeks, with 2 weeks left until my due date), I suppose I am pretty damn close after all.

And I’m totally  ready.  As soon as I get this last recipe done…


The Sweetest Humble Pie

19 08 2011

We spent a couple nights camping, spent one night at home, then headed off for a couple of nights visiting family a few hours away.  Being gone on two back-to-back trips, we worried about leaving the cat alone so much.  Jason’s solution was to pack him up and take him with us to Jason’s brother’s house.


Wolverine is a young, independent, nocturnal handful of a country cat.  Not exactly road-trip-to-the-suburbs material.

I didn’t absolutely refuse to go along with the plan.  After all, having the cat with us would save me a certain amount of anxiety, knowing he was safe and not missing us.

But I predicted absolute misery.  We’d have to keep him locked in the house to keep him safe.  And I expected out-and-out mayhem all night long because of it.  Howling, cord-chewing, dog-chasing, toe-biting madness from our little furball, who typically spends his late evenings and early mornings hunting, and all night doing who-knows-what out in the BLM land.

We left late on a hot afternoon, and a rough couple of days seemed inevitable.  Charlie had just thrown up, sick from something he ate while camping.  I had to spend twenty minutes trying to adjust my car seat and two pillows to get my36-week-pregnant body comfortable for the long drive.  And we shoved the poor cat into his crate in the 110-degree car.

And he… slept.

Ah, well.  Sure.  He always sleeps in the afternoon.  Just wait until night falls.

We arrived, ate out, visited, and then I headed to bed.  And Wolverine jumped up on my feet and went to sleep.

Charlie came in, fully recovered from his stomach upset, and curled up on his bed, and went to sleep.

Eventually, Jason came to bed, too.


Still asleep.

I woke up at 8 the next morning, after a restful night of sleep, and Wolverine was still curled up at the bottom of the bed.

So I was wrong.  But looking at those three boys, snuggled and sweet and asleep…  Well, who cares about being right, anyway?

A little update:  So, yes, I was wrong, and I can totally admit it.  BUT… after 36 hours of being a sweet, purring fur puddle, the cat woke up at 2:30am on night 2 and proceeded to LOSE HIS SHIT.  Which resulted in very little sleep for me.  5am found me on the front porch holding a leash attached to a terror of a night beast.  By the time everyone else woke up, the sun was up and Wolverine had returned to his daytime state of sleepy sweetness.  Damn him.

A little side note: I actually googled “fur puddle” because it sounded kind of dirty.  But apparently it isn’t, I am just a pervert.

A final update: Within 2 hours of returning home and releasing the cat, Wolverine left most of a dead lizard on the front porch where our luggage was still piled.  I think there may be several interpretations of his message.  #1: Thank you for the awesome trip.  #2: Thank you for bringing me home.  #3: If you ever pull that shit on me again, remember I have teeth and claws and I know how to use them; now return this f*cking cat carrier and bring me some tuna.


19 08 2011

… all that has been standing between me looking like the Michelin Man versus some semblance of my pre-pregnancy self was three days a week in the pool.

Between a camping trip and a visit to family, I skipped a week of prenatal water exercise.  My feet, ankles, fingers, and wrists swelled a little each day.  I had to remove my watch and the hair bands from around my wrists.  Seriously, the hair bands are elastic.  They stretch.

We got home from a three-hour drive yesterday at 5:30.  I kicked Jason, the dog, and the cat out of the car and headed straight for the pool.

Luckily, nobody stopped to ask me any questions about tires.

More Summer

17 08 2011


Davis Lake is one of my favorite places to camp with Jason and the dog.  We didn’t make it out there last summer, so I was happy to get there this year.

Gotta love summer when you’re camping at a lake.


36 Weeks / 1 Year

17 08 2011

Jason and I have been married for one year now.  Considering that I’ve pretty much been pregnant for that entire year, that we still don’t have a baby, and I have another four weeks left of being pregnant, I think that it’s pretty damn impressive that we’re still on speaking terms.  Most of the time.



35ish Weeks: Pondering the Milk Industry

12 08 2011

My 35th week of pregnancy is coming to an end.  Okay, well, it’s half over now, so in my own mind I’m in the vicinity of 36 weeks.  And 36 weeks is just one week shy of 37 weeks, and 37 weeks is a milestone because then I am technically full term, though it may be 5 weeks beyond that when I actually have the baby.

Which means there’s hope that I won’t be the first woman in history who really does stay pregnant forever.

At around 32 weeks, I began to feel like I was getting close to the end, and I had a surge of excitement.  I can do baby laundry! I thought.  I should pack a bag for labor!  Then I did the math and realized I still had as many as 8 weeks left.  8 weeks is, like, 2 months.  Which, in terms of pregnancy, is practically forever.

But yesterday, I bought some milk at the grocery store.  It expires on September 28th.  The maximum anyone will let my pregnancy go is September 26th.  Do you see the significance?

I will have a baby before the milk in my fridge goes bad.

Jason and I talked about this last night.

“I’m getting excited about the baby,” I told him.  “I bought milk at the store today…”

“What, like breast milk?”

“No!  I bought milk at the store, and it doesn’t expire until September 28th…”

“Milk stays good for six weeks?”

“Well, actually, that seemed weird to me, too.  And it’s organic milk.  But listen…”

Anyway, it’s just three weeks now (and a couple of days, for you calendar sticklers) until my due date, and I am excited, of course.  I’m so curious to see this little demon who has been terrorizing my body for 9 months!  It just seems preposterous that we’ve created a brand new person.  No matter how many times I look at the crib and the diapers and changing table and the tiny clothes, I still have trouble believing that we’re going to be bringing home a baby.

And not just some time in the future, but possibly before we bring home another half gallon of milk.


11 08 2011

I was in the kitchen when I heard Jason, talking on the phone in his office.

“I’m going to have a daughter here pretty soon, in September…”

Okay, call me a giant, quivering mass of pregnancy hormones loosely held together by a veneer of maternity clothes, but I had to freeze right where I was and absorb that sentence.

Jason’s talked a lot about the baby, but this is the first time I’ve heard him talk about his daughter.

Honestly? It’s impossible for me not to tear up every time I think about it.

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