Dr. Wonderful’s Chair – Take Two

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This morning was Yogi’s 9 month(ish) appointment. No shots this time but he did get a heel prick. All is well and his blood looks the way his blood should look.  Here are the numbers :

Height – 29″ (60%)
Weight – 17lbs, 4ozs (3%)
Head circumference – 17.5″ (20%)

A Little This, A Little That

It’s time to play catch up.

Day 9 – What is the most important lesson you learned from your own mother (or other primary caretaker)?

That absolutely every person has value.  It might be hard to determine what it is, but it’s there somewhere. 😉

Day 10 – Share your favorite recipe (or two)

ROASTED CARROT SOUP

I have been on the hunt for a delicious carrot soup recipe and here it is.  Not surprisingly I found it on my new favorite foodie site Food 52.  If you like to cook simple, clean and delicious food, you must hop over there.  SO many good ideas.  This dish was super simple and really tasty.  I served it with crusty bread and a big salad with lots of bright strawberries.  Delicious!

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 to 8 large carrots (about 1 3/4 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 piece ginger, an inch long, peeled
  • 1 sprig thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 large sweet onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION

  1. Peel and cut the carrots into 1/2-inch rounds. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt. Set an oven rack 6 to 8 inches from the heat source and turn on the broiler. Broil the carrots until they brown and soften, turning them over with a spatula every 5 minutes or so; this should take 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring the stock to a boil, add the ginger and the sprig of thyme and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
  3. Put the onion in a medium stock pot with the remaining olive oil. Brown the onion over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, and then add the carrots.
  4. Remove the ginger and thyme from the stock and add the stock to the pot with the onions and carrots. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the carrots are soft enough to puree.
  5. Use blender (I used my Cuisinart) to puree the mixture until smooth. If the soup seems too thick, add more stock or water and reheat gently. Add salt and pepper to taste. To serve, garnish with chopped fresh thyme.

CHANNA MASALA

I stumbled on this recipe and the excellent step by step (with pictures) instructions on another favorite foodie blog.  It’s called Eat, Live, Run and has lots of great ideas. This dish is SO good.  If you are a fan of Indian food you must try it.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 15 ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 inch knob ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 2 tbsp butter

PREPARATION

  • In a large cast iron skillet, heat the butter. Once melted, add the onions and cook for about 15 minutes on medium low heat, or until golden brown.
  • Once the onions have caramelized, add the garlic, ginger and jalapeno and stir well. Cook for about two minutes or until it starts to smell like heaven on earth.
  • Add the tomato paste.
  • Add the coriander, cumin, cayenne and tumeric and stir well.
  • Then add the diced tomatoes, chickpeas and garam masala.
  • Cook for about five minutes or until the chickpeas have heated through.
  • Finish with a squeeze of lemon and top with plain yogurt and cilantro if desired!

 Day 11 – In what ways does being a lesbian/2-mom family impact your experience of parenting?

So far, I’m not sure.  Working our way through the process of a 2nd parent adoption is something we would not have had to do as a straight couple, but I don’t know that that has had an impact on our experience of parenting.  I would imagine that we think and talk more about the role that men will play in our son’s life than the average hetero couple.  As others have mentioned we are blessed by the fact that our family comes without a script.  We have been forced to be quite mindful about all of the decisions we have made so far, from who would carry our child to how we would share household labor.  My wife and I are making it up as we go along; borrowing from families we admire and doing what feels right for all three of us.  We have no well worn grooves to settle into when it all feels like just too much to think about.  I think this is a gift.

As I’m writing this I realize that the most significant fact of our lesbian/2 Mom family situation, is how deeply grateful we are to be able to live this life in the way that we do.  We can’t help but marvel (on an almost daily basis) that all of this is really ours.  I have a wife whom everyone who matters to me knows to be my wife.  I have a beautiful son that we made together (I believe this to be true – that boy wouldn’t be here without my wife and I loving him into this world) and we have a family of friends and parents and cousins who love and support all three of us.  We’ve got it good and we know it.

Day 12 – Tell us about the first time you got drunk (as far as you can remember…)

 

I had a few beers here and there towards the end of high school, but I was never DRUNK until I got to college and started attending rugby parties.  Oh my.

The first one of these parties was during the very first week of classes.  Having tagged along with a few older girls I had met at orientation, I immediately joined in on a drinking game.  I like games, right?  This one involved Sting and the Police’s Roxanne.  Take a drink every time you hear either “Roxanne” or “red light” depending on your team.  I was on the “Roxanne” team, but there were no winners that night.  I’m fairly sure I made it through 3 rounds.  That is ALOT of Roxannes and A WHOLE LOT of Rolling Rock.  In practically no time at all.  Afterward I remember that even the light in the bathroom where I spent many of the next few hours was nauseating.

Day 8 – Teaching

If you had to teach something, what would you teach? (If you DO teach, when did you discover your love for teaching/the subject?)

Although I’m currently staying home with Yogi I have been teaching since I started graduate school in 2000.  As a graduate student I taught lab courses in classes that faculty generally avoid (Statistics, Research Methods, Intro Psych), but I took a Visiting Prof position during the year I wrote my dissertation and I began to have more control over the content of the courses I taught.  That was the year I really fell in love with teaching.  My first Asst Prof position was in a psychology department where I taught courses that I really loved (Social Psychology, History of Psychology, Psychology of Women).  I left that job to be in the same state as my now wife and accepted another Asst Prof position.  Unfortunately this job was in a business school.  My training in Industrial/Organizational psychology provided me with a background in business and plenty of I/O folks teach in management departments, but I never thought I would be one of them.  During those years I taught courses that I did not really love or actually have must interest in (Intro Management, Human Resources, Staffing, Leadership).  Yuck.

I love teaching, the energy of the class session itself, the syllabus/course planning, the lecture prep, the exchange with students.  I do not love grading or keeping track of grades and I especially do not love faculty meetings.  Faculty meetings are horrific actually.

I am at my best when I am personally engaged with and excited about the topic.  For this reason, I can think of a few things that I would love to teach.  Of course in order to teach these things, I would have to learn more myself but that is half the fun.  Here’s my list:

  • Gender
  • Religion (particularly Buddhism)
  • Literature

I could be much more specific with each of those, but my eyelids are droopy.

Day 7 – Yum!

What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner? If you have children, what are their favorites?

At this point Yogi is a milk man.  He’s beginning to expand into bread and occasionally pea territory, but the boy loves milk.  LOVES it.  As for me, I like the Vermillion approach to typical and favorite, so here goes.

BREAKFAST – My typical breakfast is a Green Smoothie with 1 frozen banana, 1 cup of milk, lots of spinach and a handful of ice cubes.  Delicious.  Breakfast is my favorite meal, so I have lots of favorites.  A fluffy omelet with lots of veggies and goat cheese or feta, accompanied by a hearty toast with an interesting jam.  I will always eat a good breakfast burrito, particularly one with sweet potatoes, guacamole and a quality salsa.  A waffle and/or pancakes with peanut butter and a splash of syrup is also welcome.

LUNCH – My typical lunch is either hummus and pretzels with a side of fruit (usually an orange or cherries) or if I’m in a rush, the 90 second in the microwave Madras Lentils by Tasty Bite.  Yogi and I occasionally meet my wife for lunch at Panera, and there I like the creamy tomato soup and the tomato mozzarella panini.  Pretty good for a chain restaurant.

DINNER – My typical dinner is some kind of grain (quinoa, farro) with lots of vegetables and a big salad involving dried cherries and balsamic vinaigrette.   A few of my favorite dinners would be pizza, sushi, ahi tuna, scallops and/or oysters.  Not necessarily all at once. 😉

Man, I’m hungry.

Yogi (Legally) Has Two Mommies!!!

HOORAY!!!!  The adoption hearing was this morning and it went off without a hitch.  Yogi had to miss morning nap and required a paci while we waited, but he was a sport.  Smiling and charming everyone in the courthouse.  My parents weren’t able to make it due to my Dad’s chemo schedule, but my wife’s parents came to town and we loved having the happy grandparents along.

Interestingly, it isn’t quite accurate to say Yogi has two Mommies.  The legal adoption language talks about co-parents, but when it comes to his birth certificate the boy has a Mother (my wife) and a Father (me).  Gotta love that.  I hope to be one hell of a Father. 🙂

Day 5 – Happy Birthday

What do you prefer to do on your birthday? If you have children, what do you prefer to do for their birthday?

I love a celebration.  I am almost always looking for an excuse.  My wife tells people that I celebrate Tuesday.  Until she met me, my wife was an ardent non-celebrator.  It was a very serious stance.  These days, I’ve gotten her to move a little bit in my direction.  We were able to have a wedding after all.

My birthday is in February and I if I had it my way I would have a month long celebration.  No actual party, but lots of small dinner parties/restaurant evenings out with friends and family.  A shared meal and intimate conversation.

Yogi has yet to have a birthday, but I’m looking forward to the big day.  I’m imagining a small family and friends party for the first year and that will be fun.  What I’m really looking forward to is finding out what he’s into and fashioning a celebration around that.  I can’t wait for pirate parties or Thomas the Train parties or even Princess parties.  Whatever it is that he’s excited about.  I also like the idea of allowing him to create the menu for breakfast or dinner on August 15th each year.  Whatever he wants is what we’ll be eating.  My wife and I have also talked about having a kind of family outreach project each year whose focus will (might?) change from year to year.  I think that Yogi’s birthday would be a good time to articulate a new focus.  It could be a good opportunity to talk about what we care about as a family and how we could make a contribution.  Maybe one year it’s birds and the next year it’s AIDS research.  Who knows?  I can’t wait to find out.

It’s unrelated, but I can’t resist a recent bath time picture of the little Lion.

Day 4 – Surprise, Surprise

What has most surprised you about parenthood?

I approached this whole thing from a very humble I have no real idea what I’m getting myself into kind of a place. I am the type that clings stubbornly to what I had expected to happen in the face of what actually has happened, be it good or bad. It’s a character flaw, but a pretty human one. Once I’ve got an idea in my head it is VERY hard to let it go, so I try to approach the world without any idea at all. This is a super hard thing to do, but when I can manage it, it’s magical.

I’m telling you all of this to say that staying open to what is instead of what I want/think/expect has been objective #1 in my life as a parent so far. For this reason, I am both constantly surprised and never really surprised at all. At the same time. Does that make sense? Probably because of that perspective, the big surprises have been things that I didn’t know about myself.  Surprises about myself as a person and parent, rather than about Yogi or even parenting Yogi.  He has been quite an astute teacher and we’re only 9 months into this thing.  Thinking about all that I still have to learn makes me a bit tired, but for now here are the big things.

  1. Without a solid 7 hours of sleep each night (8-9 is preferable) I am someone that even I don’t like.  I can swing reduced hours  for a few days, but I can’t make it work long term.
  2. Alone time is not the luxury I thought it was.  It is a basic, fundamental need.  I don’t know quite what it is that happens, but it’s essential.
  3. I still have trouble asking for what I need.  I thought I had improved on this front, but life with Yogi has pointed out the fact that what I have is a supportive wife who understands me, not a willingness to ask for what I need.  Different things.
  4. I’m not nearly as anxious as I used to be.  I had expected to be nuts about things like milestones and head circumference and I’m just not.  Don’t get me wrong, I certainly have my moments but on the whole I just trust myself much more deeply than I ever have before.  I trust myself and my wife and Yogi.  I’m confident in each one of us as individuals and I’m super confident in us as a family.  I think that alot of my anxiety has been rooted in distrust of myself and the situations I have been in.

Day 3 – Guilty Pleasures

The images and collages on everyone elses’ blogs have inspired me to make my own. It probably speaks for itself, but I have a few words to add.

1. Hot Tamales – The crown jewel in the candy crown. This is my movie candy of choice and I can easily eat an entire box by myself. In no time at all. When I lived in Atlanta and spent a lot of time at Eddie’s Attic (fabulous music venue) they had Hot Tamales in the gum machine. Perfect.
2. Snickerdoodles – Cookies are a general weakness, but this particular cookie is a current favorite. Soft and spicy.
3. Big Brother – I have no excuse for this. The show started when I was in grad school and I tried to tell myself that it was all the interpersonal psychological business that kept me watching. It was practically like homework, right? Years later, I’m still watching and I’ve given up the pretense that watching this show is worthwhile. It is simply narcissism on parade.
4. Two Peas in a Bucket – I got into scrapbooking a little more than 10 years ago. It wasn’t long before I came across this website. There are certainly lots of great resources, but it’s the message boards that keep me coming back. It is a total time suck, but I can never stay away for long.
5. Mellow Mushroom – I love Mellow Mushroom pizza and this is my favorite kind, the Kosmic Karma. Tomatoes, feta and pesto. Yum. And beer, always beer.

Good Morning and Welcome to My Room

These days when we walk into Yogi’s room in the morning, we are greeted by this smiling face.  Late last week he realized that he could sit up in his crib and now he’s hooked.  In fact, the last few nights we have heard baby sounds on the monitor and when we push the video button all we can see is a big, bald head.  It sounds crazy, but we think he’s sitting up in his sleep.  When my wife goes in to check on him she just lays him back down, adjusts his lovey and he is immediately asleep.  Was he ever actually awake?  Hard to know.

More on the challenge after dinner.

Day 2 – The Good Old Days

Describe your high school self. What extracurricular activities, if any, did you participate in during high school.

Although I barely survived middle school, high school was a different story.  A new high school opened in my town the year I entered eighth grade.  High school was 9-12 in my area, but my school started with two classes – an eighth and ninth grade group.  The following year we moved forward into ninth and tenth grades and just continued to move upwards from there.  The class ahead of me was our first graduating class.  This school brought together a group of students that were different than the ones I had gone to middle school with and thankfully I found my place among them fairly quickly.

I had the same boyfriend from eighth grade through eleventh when he went to college.  We were very close and he was one of my best friends.  He was the first person that I talked to about the fact that I thought I was gay and his reaction was such a blessing.  He took me seriously, he never made it about him and he didn’t talk about it with anyone until I was ready.  The conversation began because I had to tell someone about the way I felt about my other best friend.  A girl.  We had a VERY emotionally intense friendship, but I never told her directly how I felt about her although I’m sure she knew.  We spent five years of our lives connected at the hip.  During the early weeks of college (we went to different schools) a mutual friend told her that I was openly dating women and we never spoke again.

Around school I was primarily known as her friend and his girlfriend.  I was a smart girl who took as many English and Writing classes as I could.  I was in the Flag Corps and I loved being a part of the marching band.  I worked after school and on weekends at a pharmacy.  I was active in the youth group at my Episcopal church.  I was quiet and never without a book.  I was the salutatorian of my class.