Thursday, February 21, 2008

Unimaginable Violence

Nobody seems to understand why I find this cartoon mirthfully funny... I think it's British; North Americans tend to spell fish fingers as two separate words, I think. I love how casual the mother is and how prep-school the kids look. And they are genuinely afraid of the unimaginable violence. I can't even imagine it!

I found this coaster back when I was a single mother and it summed up my entire parenting attitude at the time: "go ahead, ask me what your choices are."These days, I like to think of myself as less bat-wielding and a little more flexible. But maybe I should bring back the bat for the upcoming Decade of Teenagers.

Hey! I'm an inventor! See this? (at left) I invented a little pipe-cleaner "spider" that sits on top of drinking glasses to turn them into little vessels for propagating windowsill coleus cuttings. I saw a site that suggested using chickenwire bent over the top of a glass, but really, who has spare chickenwire just lying around... now, pipecleaners, I have plenty! This really just has one simple twist in the middle to make an oval where the plant stem sits. It keeps the leaves out of the water so they don't rot and hopefully helps prevent the stem from "tipping" out of the water and drying up completely. The coleus seem happy so far... ;-)

Oy - what a week!
Abi was in for a visit - nice as always.

I've already told you about Monday... on Tuesday, Ted was off work and I scheduled a million different things. Naomi had her "school birthday" at Mrs ViKi's and then an interview, then tutoring in the evening.

The lady I'm tutoring - the one whose laptop power supply was broken last week - called to cancel because she wasn't feeling well, then decided I could come at 8 pm, an hour later than we'd planned... but by then, I was so tired, having a rough day with the baby, I figured it would throw my entire everything out of whack so I said I couldn't come so late. OK, being totally honest, she sounded like she had a cold, and okay, I'm mildly phobic about catching colds.

Today, she called back to beg me to come on Sunday (1:30 pm) AND next Tuesday (7 p.m.) evening. Money is nice - how the heck can I complain? But I was really looking forward to Rabbi Zauderer's Book of Esther class after the promising first session.

Plus, tutoring is easy work, but I guess I was hoping to postpone doing anything until he's reliably on solids so he's not so dependent on me. Everybody asks why I can't leave a bottle. Funny, the people who ask are the ones who KNOW I'm still nursing Naomi and don't have a boob to spare...

I wish I could write this while I'm standing at the sink washing dishes... I always have my best thoughts then.

I was also thinking about local food, because our Good Food Box yesterday STILL had a surprisingly large quantity of local produce, even though nothing's been growing for months and months. Potatoes, carrots, I don't remember what else. They are not entirely compulsive about local food (they include bananas, for example, and oranges, etc), but the packing list shows an asterisk next to the local items and I love looking & becoming aware of what's local, what's seasonal, etc. Especially seeing almost all asterisks in the summertime... I wouldn't exactly call myself a strict locavore but maybe awareness is important, too.

Of course, that got me thinking about literary locavores because Sara's reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and I recently read Plenty, about a Vancouver couple who take on a 1-year, 100-mile diet. I enjoyed the book - I love almost all food books - but couldn't help thinking this is a strange and perhaps disturbing trend, taking something on for one year. Whether it's eating local or living Amish (oy, what was that living-amish-for-a-year book called - unplugged-something?!?!)... I think I could take on anything for a year if I knew a) I could cheat a little sometimes and b) there was a book deal at the end of it.

So is it a problem? Usually, the authors come out changed for the better, or at least, have to have it seem that way for the book to sell.

But I can't help thinking of how long and hard and wearying my journey is and how lousy a book it would make because there are no trite conclusions and the whole story has been kind of messy, frankly. What would I call it? "My Twenty Years in Judaism" (well, not really, because I've been Jewish almost twice that long) I could call this blog "My Year in Suppers" but I don't know if I could keep up a year... and there's never really a way out of suppers; I suppose I'll be making them more or less every night for the rest of my life.

SO. To sidestep all that navel-gazing stuff entirely (if I was in the military, could that be "naval-gazing" ???), here's a glimpse of Naomi's "evil face". It's a regular smile, with teeth. The teeth come out when she's about to bend Gavriel Zev's hand backwards, or taunt Elisheva Chaya, or punch Yerachmiel Meir for "coming into her kitchen" (ie sitting on the sofa). Her siblings all love her to bits, but we could all do without her more demented side.

Gavriel Zev's sleep is still totally messed up. Five months old... night sleep seems to be getting somewhat better but I'm still in the living room until he reliably goes through the night. Ted says he was up every hour last night, but just sighed around a bit and went back to sleep. But his day sleep is completely ruined.

No matter what I do, he cries and screams terribly and won't sleep. If he cries right away, it's a good sign - he may fall asleep and then sleep for a while. If he goes to sleep right away, that's bad. That means he'll be awake in 45 minutes and scream - for hours if necessary - until we pick him up. 45 minutes is NOT ENOUGH SLEEP.

So far this week, I have tried:
~ Pick him up, feed him, change him, cuddle him back to sleep... result: woke up soon after, screamed
~ Let him cry... result: crying escalated to screaming, which never stopped
~ Try to intercept the cry and feed him before he fully wakes up... result: again, didn't get back to a good sleep.

The good: morning sleeps are doing okay. Night sleeps seem to be improving. But I need need NEED him to have a good afternoon nap so he isn't out-of-his-mind tired in the evening. :-(((

Article deadline tomorrow: can you tell I'm procrastinating?


Tuesday: Abi was here... pea soup and what else...? Hmm... Ted was here, he'll remember.
Wednesday: Oven-baked polenta with broccoli, mushroom & onion sauce; muy delicioso! And some winey carrots, yum.
Thursday (tonight): More pea soup! And I ordered pizza (I deserve it after so many great suppers!) And wedgey potatoes on the side.

What did we have on Tuesday...???
Oh, yes!

Tuesday: Ted-made salmon, french green beans (I think) and pea soup. Or were the green beans on Monday? Anyway, needless to say, there was a plop of veggies on the side.

Ted wants meatballs for Shabbos. Maybe I'll make the crock-pot ones again. Doesn't really save time but it feels like it does to use the crock pot.

ONE MONTH 'TILL SPRING. Think I can make it?
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