Monday, June 25, 2007

What, you don't like cold beet soup?

Hey folks. Long time no writey. I've just been having too much fun doing the mommy thing. Roan is showing more personality every day, and she is such a joyful creature I just love my time with her. Latest developments:
  • she is very interested in her toes, often grabbing at them
  • she likes to shove a hand/ finger/ thumb into her mouth whenever possible
  • she gets into cooing spells where she makes all kinds of adorable noises
  • she's given the thumbs down to several of her major toys, prompting me to go out and buy a new exersaucer to keep her entertained
  • she loves standing on her legs (assisted of course)
  • she hates spending time on her tummy
  • she is sleeping through the night!!! yesssss!!!!!

Since my last post we took a road trip down to Texas to pick up our cat, celebrate Arwen's grandpa's 90th birthday (!) and put some face time in at the home office. I must say, we were rather leery undertaking a 16 hour drive with a 2-month old, but it went amazingly well. She slept a lot (Arwen drove through the night) and wasn't very fussy at all. And while we were in Texas she was so good and so happy it was incredible. I would've thought she might get cranky or out of sorts, but no sir, she was a gem. She even slept through the night 3 nights in a row. I think she really liked being around so many people, having lots of folks fussing over her and keeping her entertained. Our first two days back in Denver she went into a bit of a cranky spell. I think she missed being the center of attention! "What, it's just you and me Mom? Borrrring!"

While we were traveling she had her second growth spurt. You know it's a growth spurt not because she suddenly shoots up overnight, but because she starts nursing around the clock like crazy. I basically didn't sleep for 3 days. But this time just knowing what was going on, I didn't stress out about it. Eventually she returned to normal.

The only other hiccup on our trip was she got another somewhat bad diaper rash. I hadn't packed our super special hospital-issued diaper rash cream. Instead I packed the prescription refill our pediatrician gave us to save space. I figured if we needed the stuff, no problem, just run by Walgreens and pick it up. Wrong! It could only be filled at a compounding pharmacy (one that mixes stuff up) and all the ones in Houston were out of one key ingredient. A day of phone calls and $53 later, Roan had a different cream that works not as well but well enough to get her bottom in good enough shape to sit in a car seat for 20 hours.

Anyhoo, the funny thing is that once we got back to Denver and the rash cleared up I picked up some Desitin, the only diaper cream I hadn't tried and by far the most popular. I don't know, I guess I figured since everyone uses it it must not be any good? Or maybe I just had to be different? As it turns out it has not only cleared things up, it's kept the persistent recurring rash we're always fighting at bay. Go figure. Lesson learned: Save yourself some time and trouble and just do what everyone else does.

The last thing I thought I'd mention is I've been a little short of time lately because I've cranked up the cooking. I got really spoiled having Jen here cooking wonderful healthy meals all the time before she got a new terrific job. Now she has better things to do with her life than be my personal chef. When Arwen started to say things like "Are we ever going to eat at home again?" I figured I better pull it together. Happily I heard about this menu service,, which provides a week's worth of nutritionist-prepared menus that are healthy and wholesome along with a shopping list and a food prep To Do list to save time. For me, the recipe hunting/ grocery list making is the most taxing part of cooking so this is treat. And the Muse is into all kinds of ethnic foods, which I love, and she also has recipes for eating various foods that I don't really know what to do with normally.

Like beets for example. I don't think I've ever purchased beets or attempted to cook or eat beets. Beets were always sort of a mystery vegetable to me. They seemed to harken back to some quaint distant time in the past in which people ate things like collard greens and rhubarb pie. A sort of vestigial vegetable in today's modern produce section. Anyway, in last week's menu there was this recipe for summertime beet soup. Of all the recipes in the list it seemed the most iffy to me, but I thought to myself, Do not fear the beet. Embrace the beet. I figured if ever there was a time, it was now.

Flash forward to dinner a couple nights later. Arwen: "Are we having one of your new recipes tonight?" Me: "Yeah and I think it'll be really good. Different. Earthy. Here try some." At which point I served him three ladelfulls of bright fuscia soup with a dollop of plain yogurt, a handful of cucumber and a smattering of dill. I just forgot to mention one thing: this is a cold soup. He took one bite and I wish I had a picture of the look on his face. Horror. Disgust. Confusion. Me: "I like it, what do you think?" Him: "Well it's definitely different."

This is a man who will eat anything. I have sometimes complained that he will wolf down a delicately prepared meal that took hours of care and attention with equal enthusiasm/indifference as a pot of mac'n cheese straight out of the box. In fact, I think if it were up to him mac'n cheese would find its way onto our table much more often. Anyway, I looked over midway through my bowl of purple puree and actually saw him gagging. And then dutifully shoveling in another spoonful.

Oh we had a good laugh over this culinary adventure. Since then I'm happy to report the dinners I've prepared have been resounding successes. But then when you set the bar that low, it's hard to do worse!

PS. To any of our beloved friends and family in Texas who we did not get to see on this trip (and/or who didn't even know we were in town), we love you and miss you and are sorry we were so short on time. We didn't even get to spend a proper weekend in Houston and were working during the weekdays so it made for a hectic trip. Big hugs from the whole Vaughan family.