Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Can't Wait

I'm not usually into politics, but at times as pressing as these how can you not be? I watched the first presidential debate and was dismayed by McCain's condescending tone, refusal to look Barak Obama in the eye, and his constant "I have been there" speech. I was pleased with Obama's respectful tone, many attempts to meet McCain's eyes, his straight-talking, refusal to engage in ad hominem discourse, and the hope he brings for a new, different, much needed change in our government.

I honestly can't wait for the show (the spectacle) that the vice-presidential debate will be. Palin is going to crack the shit out of me with her oh-so-non-White House qualities. I think I'll pop some popcorn.

Are people really going to vote this woman into office to co-lead our country!?

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:35 AM

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Vegan Shmeagan


Can I bitch and moan for a second? Okay, thanks.

I'm not very good at being told what NOT to do, which is funny seeing how I converted to some pretty hard core fundamentalist Christianity for a few years (what on earth convinced me to throw away all my "secular" music and books, love letters and poems that Huz had written me in high school, and any photograph of me in, God forbid, a bikini!?). So this no dairy or egg diet is killing me, especially when we have no food in the house (payday is on Tuesday and has been a long time coming this month) except for things that I can't eat. Case in point: this morning I open up the fridge and all I can see is the full carton of eggs, full tub of cream cheese and loaf of zucchini bread mocking me in their egg and dairy laden goodness. Huz is able to waltz on in and make himself a breakfast with all of these ingredients and I'm left to scape together something else and I am so hungry and cranky that I get in a fight with him over it. Sigh.

Enter Project Wean. Because things have been pointing to it lately anyway (decreased interest on Claire's part, lack of supply because of illness, stress and general busy-ness, and now this diet restriction), I've started the process of weaning. It takes time unless you do it cold turkey, which I don't want to do because it's mean to her and it'd hurt like hell for me. So all last week I dropped the daytime feedings (cut back from pumping 3 times a day to 1 at work) and am down to just feeding her first thing in morning and right before bedtime. I think I'll drop one of these feedings (not sure which yet) this weekend and hopefully have Claire fully weaned in a week or two (right around her birthday). Until then I have to be creative and, come payday, stock the fridge and pantry with things that I can actually eat (guess I'll find out how soy cheese and butter taste).

I tried a recipe for non-dairy and egg pancakes this morning, which were pretty good (Claire liked them too). I just wish I had some fried eggs and bacon to go with them.

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBS sugar
1 cup soy milk
1 1/2 TSP veggie oil
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients and fry in oil.

[Wow. I came back to this post to get the pancake recipe and had no idea there was that much sugar in it until I read it again. This recipe is just as good and has only 2 TBS of sugar.]

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:37 AM

Monday, September 22, 2008

Gas Shortage

Oh my. At least we can laugh through this crap!

Watch and laugh.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 3:33 PM

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Vegan Brownies, Trial One

What does a girl who loves sweets do when she can no longer eat ice cream or whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies? She scours the Internet for a dairy and egg-free (vegan, pretty much) brownie recipe. I adapted the one I found here to this:

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
3/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pour in water, vegetable oil and vanilla; mix until well blended. Spread evenly in a 8 inch baking pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

It's in the oven now so I can't tell you how it turned out, but the batter is spatula licking good!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 4:23 PM

Friday, September 19, 2008

Gas Shortage

Holy Crap.

I'm really struggling not to freak out over the economy, housing crisis, ongoing war in Iraq, and now the gas shortage that is currently hitting my city. As of this morning, 85% of Nashville gas stations are out of gas. We saw crazy lines of cars at gas stations yesterday and when I tried to get gas at 2 other stations without lines I quickly saw why there weren't lines: there were plastic bags on ever single handle, indicating NO GAS. Both of our cars are at or below 1/4 tank and we're driving an hour and a half away this afternoon for a friend's wedding so not having any gas is a big problem. Huz went out first thing this morning and found a station that still had gas. He waited in line for an hour and 15 minutes just to fill up. This is crazy. What is this world coming to? Are we in a recession? A depression? Do I need to stop buying anything and save every cent I earn? (I actually had a religious co-worker corner me in the break room the other day and say that all these hurricanes reminded her of the Bible and that the world is ending. I quickly made an exit not really wanting to get into that kind of conversation.)

I don't want to be a giraffe with my head in the sand and I don't want to join the panic parade, but WTF people!?

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 12:09 PM

In Mourning

[As you may recall, Claire reacted negatively to dairy when I gave it to her a few months ago. Hence, this visit to the Dr. today.]

I just took Claire to the pediatric allergist this morning and was there for 2 1/2 hours as she got her little back poked with needles of potential allergens (green beans, cow's milk, eggs, peas, cat hair). She had to get 2 vials of blood drawn too which is just heart wrenching for me - I hate hearing her cry in pain and I hate having to hold her still as the nurse sticks a needle and tubing into her little arm. Poor baby. Her back sprouted bright red welts in reaction to both dairy and eggs so she is officially allergic to them and we have to carry an EpiPen with us at all times. That is so scary. The thought that she could go into anaphylactic shock and we'd have to jam a needle of adrenalin into her leg makes me want to hide under my desk. God forbid that it should ever happen. Yes, we're empowered and prepared, but it's still scary.

The good thing about these particular allergies is that most children grow out of them by 5 years of age, so it's not the end of the world. What is the end of the world and what's causing me to mourn, however, is the fact that because SHE is allergic to dairy and eggs essentially means that I am too - at least for as long as I am breast feeding her. I can no longer have dairy and eggs because it goes through the milk to her. EXCUSE ME? That means no more scrambled eggs for breakfast (goodbye morning protein that gets me through my busy work hours before lunch), goodbye cream cheese on my bagels (a bagel without cream cheese is boring!), goodbye chocolate, and, worst of all, goodbye homemade ice cream made with rich, lovely cream and milk.

This sucks!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 12:09 PM

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pictures? Did Someone Request Pictures?

For those of you who, like my sister, need more pictures on the page than text, here you go. Don't say I never gave you anything.

These are all of Claire at 10 months (only 4 more days until she's ELEVEN MONTHS!).


Here we are after I got home from picking up produce from the CSA. She grabbed a cuke out of the basket and chomped away. I guess it helps to have both top and bottom teeth, eh?



Claire also enjoys broccoli - stalk-side first so it looks like she has green fangs. Rwwarr!


She might even share with you if you're lucky.


I think she likes avocados as much as I do. Okay, maybe she likes them a bit more, seeing how I don't rub them all over my face and hair.


Trying couscous out for the first time. More fun to play with than eat, thankyouverymuch.





After eating like that, bathtime is a must! (This was a one-time experiment in the bathroom sink. It's much too small for this splashy McGee.)




After all that eating, Claire's got plenty of energy to burn. Here's one of her new tricks (Huz said she actually pulled up to standing unassisted the other day, but I haven't seen the full action yet). [I take it back. She's done it twice so far today!]


Good thing she figured out the crawling forward thing because crawling backwards gets her caught on chair legs:


and on bunny laps (no kidding - she got here herself by scooting backwards):


Here she is getting frustrated that she can only go backwards. Notice I didn't stop taking pictures to help her out. Bad mommy!





Here she is playing in her room. She likes her room!







Cute Overload!

Here's my sweet little pilgrim baby with a hair bandana. I took her to Kroger in this and got a TON of compliments. Sorry to embarrass you in a silly outfit, Bear. I can't help myself.



Here she is in yet another head bandana. Cutest baby ever!


Here is my angel baby with her lovely blue eyes. I am so in love with her.



Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:33 PM

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Saturday Fun

My Fodder Friend called me and invited me and Claire to go to the downtown library for a marionette show with her and her daughter. I was just researching the very same show and was delighted to get an invite from her. Turns out, the Nashville library is awesome and so was their children's theater. Claire and I sat down on the floor in front of the stage - her sitting in my cross-legged lap - and she remained transfixed by the puppets dancing on the stage, the twinkling lights above, and the stage smoke that billowed out. I was in love with her during the whole thing because she - who had never been to a theater before, never seen such a spectacle, never been with all these kids sitting on their parents' laps - was taking it all in and enjoying the moment in utter happiness and with eyes open wide to the fun of it all. It was wonderful and we will definitely, definitely make this a regular thing.

Yay for fun with my baby!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 2:05 PM

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Project Hydrate

I'm on a self-imposed hydration project. I hate having to pee so much, but after my week-long sickness (the crud is now in my lungs and I make a very noisy office-mate to my colleagues - sorry!) my milk supply has really gone south. I'm more upset about this than you'd think. I mean, I'm only a month and a half away from Claire turning one (which is when you can go directly to cow's milk, or, if she's allergic, to goat or soy) and I don't want to have to switch her to formula. Do you know what the number one ingredient in formula is (at least in the soy one I bought yesterday as an emergency back-up)? Corn syrup. That's right, good ol' fashioned, healthy corn syrup. What has this world come to? We're training our babies to eat sugar and crap from day one. That's McDonald's strategy too with all the clowns and playgrounds...get the kids hooked on your garbage at a young age and you've got a life-long consumer. That's marketing at its best (which is to say, worst).

Speaking of which, are any of you watching Mad Men? Huz and I have picked up on it (and, as usual, are catching up on past seasons on Netflix). It's eye-opening to the marketing industry (as it came to life in the 60s) as well as the misogyny of the workplace.

Back to breastfeeding, I've really been proud of myself for going this long. It assures me that my baby is getting the best, most nutritious, enzyme- and antibody-rich food that she can get. I've laid a good foundation for her, plus it's helped bridge the geographic gap that going back to full-time work has made between us. Even though I'm away from her during the day, there is a vital link that remains between us and it makes me feel good that I'm still providing her with the nutrition she needs, even if I can't be with her every hour. I nurtured her for 9 months in my womb and I'm still able to nurture her now. That makes me feel like I'm doing a good job as her mother.

I may be running to the bathroom all day long, but I'm doing what I can to get my baby's milk back. It's my privilege to do that for her.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:18 AM

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


In the last seven days Claire has grown leaps and bounds. She can now crawl forward (!!), look at the cats and say "meow," repeat sounds we make (for example, I asked her if she wanted to take a bath and she said "bah" in response. I'm also trying to teach her to exhale after taking a drink. Hilarious.), shake her head (I have no idea where she got that), and is starting to pull up onto the windowsill, coffee table, and crib. It's amazing. What happened to my inert infant and where did this responsive little person come from!?

We survived our first day of daycare. I cried 3 times about it at work and I didn't even drop her off! Huz cried when he dropped her off and on the drive back to the silent, empty house (I'm not the only sensitive parent). I called the place several times to check on her and to see if they were able to put her down for a nap. Each time they were all, "she's fine, hon. No problem!" which sounds all good, but I wondered each time if they were just placating me instead of telling me the truth. I think it will take time for me to build trust when it comes to strangers caring for my child. I know they won't be as attentive as me or Huz and I know they won't be as close to her as we are. I just hope that I'm given accurate information regarding my child during her hours with them and that she's happy and safe there.

Huz has the crud now. I'm so nice to share with my family, aren't I?

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:18 AM

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Homemade Ice Cream Trials 4 and 5 (and 6)

I forgot to tell you that I did, in fact, successfully make Heath Bar Crunch. It was simple and oh-so-good (it's basically vanilla ice cream with Heath Bar mixed in). I made it on a day when I was feeling ultra domestic - I even donned my flirty apron - and made dinner for Huz, freshly picked apple (from our CSA) cobbler, and the ice cream. Yum.

Then, what do you know, in swoops He-Man-Woman-Hater Huz and outdoes me with his first ice cream attempt a few days ago. What does he make? Oh, just an over the top, completely unforgettable, ridiculously good blueberry cheesecake ice cream with graham cracker crust swirls. Swirls, people. Swirls! Grr! It's not keeping up with the Joneses over here, it's simply trying to keep up with the Huz!

Anyway. I asked the CSA for some extra rhubarb because I like it and they have it, so now I've got several pounds to do something with. Instead of making more of the expected strawberry rhubarb combinations, I've decided to try my 5th ice cream with it. It's actually a sorbet and the recipe is here. I'll try it today and let you know how it turns out.


[The sorbet is very good. Nice and tart and really creamy in texture. I didn't make the topping and, really, it doesn't need it. Serve it with chocolate cake. Mmmm.]

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:30 AM

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sick Update

I'm finally feeling a bit better, but I'm still congested and coughing up crapola. I didn't take Claire to daycare yesterday because, ahem, I gave her her first cold. Poor baby! There's nothing quite as pitiful as hearing a baby cough and struggle to breath through a congested, running-like-a-faucet nose. It's so ironic that I was worried about kids in daycare making her sick when I made her sick for the first time. Oy. At least she went almost 11 months before getting any illness, though. Yay for mama's milk!

I hope that she follows my pattern and starts to feel better after 2 days. For now, she's sleeping and that's a good thing. We'll see if I have to chisel my way into her nostrils when she wakes up like I had to this morning. Poor snot-nosed baby.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:36 AM

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sick Sucks

Ohmygodyouguys. I am so sick. It hit me like a freight train yesterday not long after I got back from visiting the daycare place (coincidence?). I actually felt okay about the place, especially because both the teacher and the director are mothers, because the class will be small (6 children), and because there will be a little boy there who is 4 days younger than Claire. Knowing that she's at least got someone else there her age makes me feel better. We'll see how the drop off tomorrow morning goes - I'm not looking forward to handing off my baby and hearing her cry. I know I'll cry too because I cried twice yesterday just talking to the daycare people. I know, I'm an emotional wreck, but this is my baby we're talking about, plus whenever I'm sick I cry a lot.

So, I don't know if this is the head cold from hell or if it's the flu, but my whole body aches, my head feels like someone is jabbing a knife into it, I'm coughing, sneezing, congested, and have fever and chills. Luckily, Huz stayed home today, but Claire was quite needy and clingy, so I really didn't get a day off. I suppose once you're a mother you never get a day off from being a mother, even if you're sick. Oh well. It's nice to be needed, I guess. The worst part about this sickness is that I can't take any medication because I'm still breastfeeding. I've only taken Tylenol which does help with the head ache and body pains, but doesn't touch the congestion, sneezing and coughing. I just hope that Claire doesn't get sick. Please send prayers for good health her way. (It would be ironic if she got her first cold from me when part of my hesitation about sending her to daycare is fear that she'll get sick from the other kids.)

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:28 PM

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Just Plain Uncomfortable

Here we are. The place I didn't want to be. I know millions of people do it, but I don't want to and yet I have to this Friday.

It's called daycare - dropping your precious little one off with complete strangers, entrusting that they'll take care of her and protect her from harm just like you do. It was heart-wrenching when I had to return to full-time work when Claire was only 10 weeks old, but I was leaving her Huz. She was safe, at home, with her Daddy. Dropping her off at daycare will be completely different. We've decided to go with a church-run Parent's Day Out program a block from our house because it's affordable and because we don't need full-time daycare. So it's only two days a week from 9:00 - 2:00. This should make me feel better, but it doesn't. It's still entrusting some woman (who wrote me an email this morning and has atrocious grammar) with Claire. My Claire. The thing I'm most worried about is the fact that Claire outright needs a morning nap. She sleeps from 9:30 or 10:00 every morning for at least an hour and if she doesn't? She's cranky, whiny, and altogether unpleasant. I asked this teacher what schedule they are following and when the babies (actually it's a one-year-old class, which also makes me nervous because Claire will likely be the youngest and God help me if any toddler punk bullies my baby!) take naps. She doesn't put them down until noon. NOON!? My baby still sleeps in the morning AND the afternoon (1:30 is her second nap time). How the heck is Claire going to deal with this? How the heck are we going to deal with her when she's sleep deprived after this?

I know I need to look on the bright side and realize that this will be a great time of socializing and being around children for her, but right now I can only see the uncomfortable negatives.

How do parents do this?

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:00 AM

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