Saturday, January 30, 2010

How did they know?

Thursday was my 40th birthday. It was kind of an odd birthday, considering it was a big one: I went out for lunch with my oldest friend (as in, we've known each other since we were 4), but did not do anything big and fancy.

This was partly because my sweetie was out of town this week, on business in Tampa. It just so happens that his brother, sister-in-law, and nephews live in Tampa, and his parents have a winter condo there (to be nearer the grandkids, of course), so while he was there on business, he got to see his family, too. It worked out nicely, except that my sweetie felt bad to be missing my big birthday.

My in-laws sent me a very nice little flower arrangement, but as they were taking my sweetie to the airport on Friday, he happened to mention that it was my 40th birthday. My in-laws were appalled. They had not realized it was a BIG birthday. They felt a simple flower arrangement was not enough. They insisted on stopping and buying me another gift for my sweetie to take home with him.

Here it is:
That, my friends, is a waxed paper bag filled with a 1/2 pound of deep fried bacon.

My in-laws may win me over yet :-).

Friday, January 29, 2010

Say cheese, Part II

For Christmas, my sweetie bought me a gift certificate to Cook's World, a place here in Seattle that has cooking classes. I was really excited to receive this (although a couple people at my sweetie's office were offended on my behalf, even after he explained that I like to cook), especially once I saw that they offer a cheesemaking class.

Last Saturday was the first of two classes, where we learned how to make soft cheeses. I promptly came home and tried out the recipe for cream cheese.

Here is the cheese after I've cultured the cream and let it sit for a day. I've just put it in the cheesecloth, where it's supposed to drain for 12-14 hours.

Next, you hang it in the refrigerator for 36-48 hours:

Here is the finished cheese, spread on an English muffin:

It is pretty darned tasty cheese, though I suspect the second batch that I have hanging in the fridge will be even better, as I let the cream culture longer.

Tomorrow is the second class, where we will learn how to make hard cheeses. I'm most excited for this part, although I fear it will have less practical application, since hard cheeses require rather larger investments in ingredients, equipment, and time.

Yes, I am mildly obsessed with cheese.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Where do I go from here?

I applied for a job today. No, I don't really want to go back to work just yet. Our cutie isn't even four months old, and my plan was six months to a year at home. But....I started freaking out about money. Not that my sweetie doesn't make a perfectly respectable salary, one that probably millions of people in this country could live on with no trouble whatsoever, but I am embarrassed to admit that, after years of living as carefree single people in New York City, we no longer know how to live on a budget. It doesn't help that my new unemployment coincidentally coincided with large medical bills (hey, did you know it costs $25,000 to have a baby these days? Good thing we have health insurance. Too bad it didn't cover 100%, but I can't really complain; it was pretty darned good), a trip to New York, and Christmas. So I looked at our hemmorhaging bank account and freaked out. I am very conservative when it comes to money; I like a healthy cushion, and our cushion is shrinking much too fast.

I am wildly conflicted about the whole thing. When I first moved to Seattle, I immediately found a job, even though my sweetie encouraged me to take my time and decide what I wanted to do. But I found I was very uncomfortable sitting at home, not earning my keep, as it were. I am happy to say I am not feeling that same discomfort now: I do understand the value of staying at home and taking care of our cutie. There are times when it is really, really boring (I love my son, but I can only coo at him or squeak the squeaky toy for so long before the fun pales), but overall I just love spending the day with him and watching him change in small ways almost every day.

I don't want a job. Or, more accurately, what I want is income without having to put my son in day care. Because, you know, day care costs a lot of money, which sort of takes a big bite out of the whole purpose of having a job. Not to mention some stranger will be holding (or worse, not holding) my cutie when he cries. I don't give him my undivided attention every waking minute, but I do give him a lot of undivided attention, and I just can't believe he'd get that in a day care.

I believe I've mentioned that I hate job hunting more than anything else. Nevertheless, I've started hunting. I am going to try do it in a very casual manner, applying only for jobs that I think look really interesting. I am not going to get too invested and I am not going to torture myself. That way when I can't get an interview to save my life, I will be able to smile and say it means I get another day or week or month at home with my cutie.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Happy new year

Happy new year! 2009 was certainly another interesting year for us, and our cutie promises to keep us on our toes in 2010 as well. Here he is doing his new favorite thing, grabbing his feet:

Looking at this picture, I am reminded of something a friend once said to me, when his daughter was tiny: that having a baby, and watching him/her grow and discover the world, is full of little moments and achievements which are utterly riveting to you, and totally boring to everyone else. So: he grabs his feet, now. Isn't that cute????

Here is our cutie during "tummy time," which he generally hates. It makes sense, since tummy time is suppose to be good for him. Even babies don't like doing what's good for them! Anyway, this week he discovered how to get out of tummy time: roll over. Not only will you then be on your back, but your parents will be so thrilled and proud they won't put you back on your tummy for several hours.