Stepping Into Your Partner’s Shoes

Let’s start off by admitting that I think I’m very spoiled.  Over the last few years, my husband has taken on the bulk of responsibilities in terms of keeping the house in order.  He generally does all of the cleaning and much of the errand running, while I do the cooking.  But whereas I really like cooking, no one really likes cleaning — at least, I don’t think he does.  But he’s been doing it (without complaint) because I tended to work long hours and I think his threshold for clutter is lower than mine.  Then with the pregnancy, it was a universal license to get the pampering treatment from my groom and, twist my arm, I was more than willing to let him.  The treatment continues as I recover from my surgery.

However, looking at things objectively over the past few days, I realize that it’s incumbent on me to take on my fair share to keep the house together.  Afterall, he’s being a wonderfully hands on father and he will be working while I will be staying at home for 5 months. 

I urge him to take breaks to rest while I try to pick up a bit in the manner that he would be doing.  It really makes me appreciate all that he does.  Though I’ve always made a point of expressing this appreciation for him, that sentiment has so much more meaning as I walk in his shoes and we strive for a more equal partnership in running our home and raising our family. 

Now, let’s see if I can manage to do it without complaining.

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Feeling Human through Cooking

I recognize the importance of taking things easy after having major surgery.  Let’s face it, the last thing I want is to do something stupid and end up back in the hospital with a bunch of nurses (not to mention my family) lecturing me about taking too much stuff on.  But I’ve always known that cooking has a relaxing effect on me and today I feel like I’ve turned a psychological corner by cooking some simple meals.

Breakfast:

A few days ago my mom had brought over parts of a honey-baked ham that they ordered for Christmas day, so we had leftovers from that.  The honebaked ham store is 2 blocks away, but I’m assuming the meat comes from much farther away — likely not local.  We had eggs (local – Glaum) with pesto jack cheese (local – Spring Hill ) and bread (local farmer’s market but has no label and can’t remember name of vendor) and strawberry jam (local – Happy Girl Kitchen Co.)  Sounds like breakfast, but after being up all night, it was actually lunch. 🙂

Dinner:

Mom brought over leftover pasta.  I supplemented with a homemade sauce made from polish sausage (local – Dibrova from Lodi), grape tomatoes (organic, not local), red onion (farmer’s market), dehydrated mushrooms that I rehydrated (no idea), green onion (organic, not local), parsley (organic, don’t know origin), parmesan cheese (not local or organic).

The food, simple fare, but it made me feel like my old self and for that it was utterly delicious.  (and bonus points for working down the leftovers in the fridge — always a weak point for me)

Dark Days Cop Out?

As one might imagine, being home from the hospital with new baby for 3 days doesn’t allow much in the realm of creative cooking.  Hell, I’m lucky if I get my pronouns right these days.

So, I set some more manageable goals.  I’m trying to reduce the amount of take-out food we get by allowing family members to bring us food or cook in the kitchen.   (A big step for control freak like me).  For lunch today, my mom made some excellent pork chops with leftover pasta she and my dad made the night before.  Of course, I didn’t ask if it was local, and on 2 hrs of sleep, I didn’t really care.

Last night, instead of going for Roundtable Pizza, which I probably would have done in the past, we ordered pizza from a local small business down the street and J. and one of our visitors walked there to pick it up.  Love me some Ramona’s Pizza in Palo Alto!

The Kind of Community Not Typically Found in Checkout Stands

Today is farmer’s market day.  J. just went to pick up some essentials and I am at home with Max.  Over the past few months, the various vendors we go to would ask us questions about when the baby was coming. They even acted just as impatient as I was as the due date passed and he was still not here.  “Still no baby?  Better get moving!”  I loved it.  It made me feel like I live in a small town, where people notice if you haven’t been by in a week or two.

I can imagine that the various folks there are asking about us and J., ever the proud papa, is regailing them with stats and politely collecting their various pieces of advice about how the honeymoon will soon be over.  I can’t wait till I can do the rounds with him.

Now, if only the farmers market sold baby wipes!

New Parenthood – where exhaustion meets compromise

First off, I’m delirious.  The sleep has been lacking, the pain meds still in effect (sort of), and the frustration of feeling totally helpless on a lot of fronts is creeping in.  And I notice that already we are doing things we thought we’d never do.

For instance, we were sure that co-sleeping (sleeping in the same bed with the baby) was not for us.  Well, within the first night when Max would not sleep unless he was right next to us (bassinet right next to bed didn’t do the trick) we brought him into the bed and got a few hours of tentative sleep.

I worry about what other compromises I might be making out of exhaustion.  We decided to go with cloth diapers.  So far, other than them being bulkier than disposables, they seem to be working ok.  The first brand of diaper cover did not work very well, but the other brand was good (and much cuter pattern). 

Let’s end this post on a cute note.

Max showing off his pajamas with feet!

Max showing off his pajamas with feet!

We’re Home!

After 36 hours of labor, 3 hours of pushing, a C-section, and 3 more days in the hospital, we are home for Christmas.  Will write more soon.

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Hospital Time

This morning I’m going to the hospital to get induced. I’ll write when we get back and settled.  Happy Holidays everyone!

De-cluttering Through Consumption

My friend G.’s at Dandelion Garden blogged about how happy she was that she was using up wrapping and shipping supplies that she had on hand rather than buying new ones — which she might otherwise have been prone to do.  I totally know what she’s talking about!

Lately I’ve taken to using up the many little bottles of lotion that I’ve had. (A giant pregnant belly takes a TON of moisturizer.)  And I wonder, what was I saving all these for? Don’t we all have those little consumables that we save for some untold emergency?  Whether it be packets of soy sauce, “fancy” soaps that gather dust for years, or hotel shampoos we felt compelled to take home with us as a keepsake.

Now, the greener approach is to consume in a responsible way that wouldn’t create a ton of little plastic containers — i.e., buying in bulk.  But these are remnants of years past or gifts that I’ve received from others.   Be that as it may, in these troubled economic times, people could realize some modest savings in just using up what they have and gain a lot of satisfaction out of de-cluttering along the way.

Making Activism Count

Here’s something that crawls under my skin: misdirected political activism. 

Case in point:  I was watching MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow the other day and she ran a story about how the Bush Administration was pushing through a vile regulation that would allow any healthcare worker to deny medical treatment to anyone on the basis of the healthcare worker’s religious views.  So, for example, if the clerk at the pharmacy has an opposition to birth control, they can deny a customer their perscription.   Or, if a nurse believed that AIDS was God’s punishment of gays, she could deny treatment to a patient — with no requirement that someone else render the requested treatment.  Like I said, vile, disgusting stuff, like most of what I’ve seen come out of the Bush Administration. 

But here’s my issue:  Rachel Maddow and her guest said something along the lines of “this regulation is not set to take effect till tomorrow, so, go to my website to find the phone number for the White House and call them to tell them you oppose this!”

Are they freakin’ kidding me?  Obviously the administration is pushing through legislation they know to be controversial and they could give a flying fuck if 30,000 people called the White House last night.   Besides, I’ve been through the Washington D.C. circuit.  Who’s on the other end of those phone calls to the White House, your Senator and your Congressman?  It’s an 18 year old intern who, at best, tells you “they’ll pass on your concerns to X” and then punches your info into a database so that you can receive mass mailings/fundraising requests from the elected official.

Encouraging people to waste their political capital by lodging calls, letters, or emails with people who are not persuadable is a total waste of resources.   These mail-call campaigns will never change a congressman (much less President’s) agenda. The only way to handle these high level people is to vote them out of office and replace them with people who agree with you. 

I believe that the only place to possibly have a shot at persuading an elected official is at the very local level — or on a piece of legislation that has not received attention one way or the other.  Otherwise, you are just screaming into the wind. 

Today I put my activism where my mouth is.  My city council is divided on whether a landfill which is soon to be filled up should be turned into a park, or if the composting facility on the presmises should be maintained in some way.  In a city with lots of parks (and lots of affluent back yards) but only one composting facility, to me it seemed like a no brainer.  So, I wrote the 3 councilmembers who are hold outs and urged them to reconsider their position.  I don’t know that my email will change their view — but I do know that I can knock on approximately 100 doors on a typical Saturday and those votes could be all it takes to kick those tools out of office — and they know it!

Women’s Intuition Is A Cruel Joke

I can’t tell you how many times over the past week I thought I was going into labor — every day for a slightly different reason.   It really makes you doubt that there is such a thing as women’s intution.  And for a control freak like me (yes, I admit it) it’s so frustrating not to know what’s going on inside my own body.  And every day, for no good reason, I feel like I failed.  I know it’s not rational. It’s emotional.  I’ve literally done nothing today but wait for a baby to show up.  I’ve run out of menial errands or tasks to do around the house.  Well, not two days in a row.  Tomorrow I’m finding something to do outside the house to make the time pass regardless of what contractions I think I’m having.

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