August 12th, 2009 by Jessica
Meal: Shrimp Scampi Fettuccini aka Comfort Food
Drink: Some lovely Shiraz compliments of the Clarks
Long, long long time with no write. I have been asked by my readers, “Why so quiet?” (Liz, Nic and Britt-I’m back!). Pretty simple rationalizations… It’s summer and the Baxter family is happy.
Hugh, Clint and I have been so busy antiquing, Big Splashing, thrifting, sun bathing, home remodeling and of course cooking, that writing has fallen by the wayside. Ours was the Summer of Family Togetherness and thank God that we all remain alive and undivorced. Clint and I both miraculously found new jobs. Clint now works for a local Vo-Tech School as their techie-guy. I, quietly and without the ceremony I envisioned, accepted a position with Tulsa Public Schools. After this afternoon, and the pending results of a
UA (fingers crossed!), I am the new Parent Educator for Parents As Teachers! I once said this was the only job I would return back to work for… I guess someone was listening.
With this sweetness came the bitter. I lost my grandmother this morning. My Dad’s mother and my namesake. So I return to you more thoughtful and less sober than most Tuesday nights.
This would be a great time for me to tell you all about the Fiorucci Shrimp Scampi Recipe. About how it was handed down to me from generations of bitchy wives that were mercifully dubbed “feisty”. The reasons I scrape the ingredients together each time I need comfort for myself or forgiveness from my husband. The perfect moment for the wistful story about my Gramma, teaching me about Italian cooking and life… Eating a brick of cheese, barefoot among pots and pans… She sneaking me wine while my father farmed down the road…
No such story here. Go watch a Giada rerun for that B.S.
My famous Shrimp Scampi comfort food recipe I owe only to Rachel Ray. Look it up: A modified Shrimp Diablo from the “Get Togethers” cookbook. A story sadder than my grandmother dying.
Grandma Barb was no cook. The only things I remember her serving were Shastas and luncheon meats, or the occasional jello salad. Standing up and eating scampi over the stove, we toasted my Grandmother Barb tonight. We toasted to her gentle spirit and stifled inner spark. I drank the red wine and told some true, if unexciting, stories of her life. Like how my last memory of her was a birthday party she threw for my HB, whom she’d not yet met.
Somberly in bed, those toasts hours behind me, I remember that I’ve been called a “great cook” but never “gentle”. I hope it’s not too late to inherit something besides her name.
May 20th, 2009 by Jessica
Drink: Sprite… I am having some pregnancy symptoms.
I think I am going to start tagging my huband. At night when he is sleeping I will put a slash on his sholder blade with a ballpoint pen. A slash, or a tick, or whatever the mark is called when one is counting days. I will add a mark each day and count how many accumulate before bring washed away. This is the only way I can measure how often HB is REALLY bathing.
May 20th, 2009 by Jessica
Am I one of those women that needs a prescription deoderant? Or was it just really humid today?
I want to write more but I am too tired in the really happy way to write. I’ll catch up tomorrow. Promise.
May 3rd, 2009 by Jessica
Meal: Left-over spaghetti sauce turned into homemade pizza
Drink: Only TWO whiskey and cokes, earlier
It occurred to me earlier that Hugh’s birthday party is not about Hugh turning 2 at all. It is about me and my inner competition to be the Best Parents on the Block. This occurred to me as I was threatening to give him Shaken Baby Syndrome if he got one inch nearer to the cake-caterpillar head that I was constructing on the buffet. This notion was cemented when Clint, huffing for oxygen and clutching a balloon, threatened to cancel the party if Hugh popped one more of the birthday balloons. He ran around all day amidst the preparations completely oblivious to the meaning. All Hugh knows is that “the garbage man is coming to take all the binkies away” because “he big now”.
Hugh’s second birthday has stirred up all sorts of feelings in me… These have been the fastest two years of my life. I was born to be Hugh’s mother. Plain and simple. I would have 10 more children if I knew they would all be as healthy and beautiful and delightful as Hughie.
We are celebrating with “Hugh’s Birthday Bug Bash” tomorrow at 1pm. I spent the evening up to my elbows in frosting wishfully attempting to make a birthday cake that MIGHT compete with the cakes of my elders. I should explain that I come from a serious lineage of party throwers… A store bought cake would be shameful… A commercial-cartoon theme would be dispicable… And a party held at Incredible Pizza, I’m not sure if I would be invited to Christmas next year. That leaves me cutting bug decorations from construction paper, drinking whiskey on my living room floor, hoping to add ONE detail that has not been done before.
I really think this party should be in honor of ME, quite frankly. I have done all the work here… Sublet my uterus like a condo for 9 months and gained 60 pounds (oh yes I did). All Hugh did was survive for two years… I baked and iced 48 cupcakes to construct the caterpillar cake! I made handmade invitations!! And sent them on time. No shit. Crowds of admirers should bring Clint and I gifts and sing us a song around candles, right? The song would go,
“Way to not kill your kid, way to not kill your kid,
Way to keep him alive!
Way to not kill your kid!
And many moooooooorrre……”
I propose a new tradition, not just for my family, but yours too. The night before the kid’s birthday should be “parents day”. Celebrate with some self-congratulatory storytelling and get drunk while making fun of your child’s baby pictures. Slap your spouse on the back and and judge who came closest to having CPS called. Eat the good candy from the goody bags. Remind each other why that kid is the best toy ever. And then mentally prepare yourselves for the avalanche of noisy toys, spills, sugar headaches, and overall chaos that we call birthday parties. That is, if you don’t do that every night.
I said to Clint today in the midst of Hugh screaming and the dog barking and the Dee Dee rearranging our furniture, “these are the years”. I think we get it, even though we are not partying and celebrating Parents Day. We are the opposite… In bed at 10:30 watching a rerun of Bill Maher. But we get it and we are SO lucky.
Thanks Hugh. You are the best thing that ever happened to a Mama-Gurl.
April 30th, 2009 by Jessica
Meal: Hours ago now
Drink: Long gone, it’s late
Just a few moments ago, I was quietly laying in bed and feeling the cool air from the open window, and generally minding my own business, when my husband came into the room. We cuddled and kissed and practiced our nightly ritual that entails Clint smothering me by crushing my chest. He listens to me rasp for air, and eventually one of us gives in… He releases his clutch or I bat him away, gasping for oxygen. Weird little people, we are.
After the horseplay he left our room to go across the hall. I yelled after him, “can you pleeeeeze bring me a Skinny Cow?”. Playing the poor, bedridden, sleepy wife has always been a favorite of mine.
Can you guess what he said in return? He might have said, “Sure!” or “Just a minute”. He could even have refused me service. But HB, my husband, CHOSE to say the following:
“Are you SURE that you really want to eat that now?”
The judgement reverberated through the house. I only wanted a skinny cow! So guilt free, yet there is the guilt… Peeing in my toilet and staring at me as if I’d asked to be spoon fed sugar covered whale lard- a delicasy on Alaska.
This judgement from my 120 pound husband. A guy who has not ever needed to work out. A guy whose own diet plan includes eating 10,000 calories a day. Nutrition advice from a man that has lived in the exact body since age 14 is insulting.
I petulantly refused his make-up Skinny Cow presented to me in bed. I scorned his offer to rephrase what he said into what he meant.
Now I am cranky and alone, minding my own business and enjoying the spring breeze from my bed windows. My tummy is rumbling but I am too proud to cross Clint in the kitchen. I’ll lay here and eventually fall asleep… Loathing the newest monkey on my back… My HB/dietician/Life coach.