Gobble Gobble

Today was a great day!

Buck and I spent 5 hours in the kitchen together.  We cooked, we talked, we listened to two episodes of This American Life, as well as plenty of Prince on Pandora.  We wore silly aprons and moved around one another pretty seamlessly as he made 1 pie, 1 cheesecake, and a crisp, while I made 2 side dishes (vegan green bean casserole and cranberry sauce), caramel sauce, and 50 rolls for Gobble Gobble Give.  It was lovely!

Making rolls

Buck in his adorable apron

The beginning

Green Bean Casserole, Apple Rhubarb Crisp, Pie crust waiting for French Sink filling

This morning we went to the farmer’s market in Santa Monica with Wyatt and then braved the afternoon rush of the grocery store on the Thanksgiving Eve in LA.

Tomorrow we will go to the Coffman house to celebrate with our friends.  Annie calls it “Orphan Thanksgiving” and I like that name.  In the morning we will go put some meals together for the homeless through Gobble Gobble Give.  This is our first time volunteering with this organization, but hopefully things are well organized and we can do some good.

Today was also the birthday of my best friend, Kate (yes, also Kate).  Here are some things I love about Kate:

  • She is incredibly kind and generous.
  • She is really pretty, but it’s not something she has to work at.  She doesn’t work out regularly, or wear much make up and yet she is gorgeous!
  • She makes beautiful babies and she shares them with you when you just need some baby snuggle love.

Snuggly Baby Will and I

  • She enjoys the simple things like tea, and a good magazine.
  • She doesn’t watch TV and she’s way behind on her movie viewing, and I think she actually has more brain cells because of it.
  • She laughs at just about anything.  Got a dumb joke?  Tell it to Kate and she’s likely to laugh!
  • The girl can EAT!  And yet she never gains a pound.  And if she did gain a pound, she wold not care in the least.  Because (and here is my very favorite thing)
  • She has her priorities in order.  It’s really admirable.

I miss Kate all the time and wish we lived closer so that we could have tea time in person instead of via phone/skype, but I take what I can get.  Twenty years as BFF and SF does not feel like a long time because you’ve made it so fun.  I love you.

Kate, Steve and Mae at my wedding

Kate, Kate and Some Lady In Background

Darling Reader, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I am thankful for so many things…right now, I am feeling really thankful for your readership. I really enjoy writing this blog and have no idea who actually reads it.  But knowing that people do, and seeing comments come back is really neat.  So, thank you for checking in.  I hope you enjoy the holiday!

I’ll be back with updates on a few births I had, some Diva talk, and more stuff  like that.

November 24, 2011. Friendship, Random. 1 comment.

First Home Birth

Wednesday night I attended my first home birth as a doula, and something strange happened.  Strange for me at least.

Here it is:  I didn’t cry.

I generally cry at births, and sometimes even cry just talking about birth.  I find it a very moving and powerful experience, even though I am not the one giving birth.

But at this home birth, which was only my fourth birth overall, so it’s not as if this is “old hat” or something, instead of my brain going “OMG- THIS IS AMAZING!!  I AM GOING TO BURST WITH THE WONDER OF IT ALL!!!!” my brain went , “OMG- THIS IS AMAZING” and then immediately followed up with, “Oh yeah…duh…this is how it’s supposed to be…and how it’s been for hundreds of years.  Cool.”

Here’s the set up:

My client was having baby number two and although she had a great birth in the hospital for baby number one, she didn’t like the postpartum care.  All the machines and florescent lights, and the people coming in every two hours to wake you up and ask, “how are you doing?” when you were doing perfectly fine until they woke you up…it just wasn’t for her.  So she hired a midwife, and then hired me, and off she went!  She called me Wednesday night around 7pm and asked me to come over.  Her labor had started Saturday, but she had her bloody show earlier in the day and things had progressed.  So I made my way over and on a crisp night with a beautiful moon, we ventured out to take a walk up and down the street to kick it into high gear.  And boy did that work!  We started our walk at 8:15 and baby was out by 11pm!

About 10 minutes after we returned from our walk, mama’s water broke and things flew from there.  She went into herself, found her primal side, and on all fours in her bedroom, in the presence of her husband, midwife, midwives assistant, and her doula (aka: me), she pushed her perfect 8lb 8 oz daughter out.

And then she climbed into bed with her baby.

And baby latched on.

And mama ate a cheese stick.

(Other things happened in between and while all this was going on, but it was really that simple).

And today, in glow of the days after, it is the cheese stick eating, and the being in her own bed with her beautiful baby laying between her and her supportive husband, that is making my brain burst with the wonder of it all.

Home birth is not for everyone, and I don’t advocate it as something all women should do.  But if you are at all curious, or feel at all inclined to birth your baby at home, or a non-hospital setting, I implore you to do some research.  Visit a birth center and definitely interview some midwives.  If you live in the LA area, Davi Khalsa does a great talk called “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Home Birth” at Bini Birth.

**This post was shared with the permission of the couple**

November 13, 2011. Birth, Doula Stuff, LA. Leave a comment.

List #21

Things I Love About Fall

In Los Angeles

  • Rain.  We don’t get much, so it’s precious when it does happen.
  • The way people bundle up when it’s only 50 degrees out.  As if they even KNOW what cold is…HA!
  • Drinking warm drinks.  I almost never want to drink warm drinks.  Something about it does not agree with my (Pitta) body, so I generally opt for my froo-froo drinks over ice and then I actually drink them!  It’s also difficult to drink a hot drink in very cold climates (like Chicago) because it’s too cold to even take your hand out of the glove to hold the cup!  Here in LA, it’s not too cold, and drinking warm drinks actually feels good.
  • Wearing puffy vests.  I had always wanted a puffy vest, but in Chicago, it seemed ridiculous to wear one!  If I needed to be warm, I needed ALL of me to be warm- even my arms.  But here in LA, it usually perfect vest weather, so I bought one and love it!  It’s white, so I look like a marshmallow, but I don’t care.
  • Thanksgiving at Annie’s.  Annie hosts Orphan Thanksgiving and has about 20 people over to celebrate.  We are all out of towners and come together to create family.  It’s nice.  We all bring a dish and play ladder ball, and then a few rounds of Mafia in which there is too much yelling, but it’s fun all the same.  We all take turns talking or skyping with our families back home and then go around the table to say what we are grateful for.  Here are two recipes I like a lot:  Green Bean Casserole, Cranberry Sauce
  • Knowing that Christmas is coming and I’ll get to see my real family soon!  Being back in my beloved home state, seeing snow and hugging my family is so fantastic.  The fall weather lets my body know that those hugs are coming soon…soon.

In Chicago

  • The Smell!  There is just something so amazing about the way the air smells in the fall in Chicago.  Sometimes it’s leaves burning and I almost hyperventilate trying to take it all in because I love it so much.  Sometimes it’s just crisp air.  Whatever it is, it makes me feel so good inside.
  • The feeling of ducking into a warm bar when you’ve been in the chilly air. Followed by a cider or a beer- can’t beat it!
  • Watching holiday decorations go up on Michigan Ave.  Nuff said.
  • Crunching on leaves. The trees on Paulina Ave would turn amazing colors.  One tree I loved looked like it was set on fire- the bottom would be orange and it the top was red.
  • Cooking with squash. There is an abundance of squash in the Midwest this time of year, and I used to be annoyed that it was all we could get, but being in LA, it’s hard to find good squash!  They are so tiny here…
  • The fall progressive dinner.  When I first moved to the city, I got a job at a study abroad organization called IES.  I made some amazing friends there and after a time, many of us ended up living within a mile of one another (except Joe who is a Northist).  I came up with the idea of doing a Progressive Dinner whereby we each picked a course and we’d move from apartment to apartment eating and drinking.  Ryan would carry a boom box (aka: bucket) and we usually ended up at Dan and Daniella’s for dessert by the fire pit.  We eventually had so many people on the route that every other stop was a “drink” stop.  The fall progressive was my favorite because it was fun to bundle up, tromp through streets with travel cups filled with Peppermint Paddies, and arrive at the next house where we would peel off our jackets, scarves and hats to enjoy another amazing, warm dish.  I treasure those times and feel so grateful to those buddies.

November 12, 2011. 52 lists, 52 weeks, family, Food, LA, Recipes. 1 comment.

List #20

Things That Make Me Happy

  • Trying new recipes.  I am addicted to the PPK blog and will be making this and this for Monday.  May also try this (although not from PPK).
  • Cider weather.  Finally got cool weather here in SoCal and I LOVE it!
  • The new Chanel nail polish commercial I saw yesterday.  Makes me want to buy SO much nail polish!  And go dancing.
  • Skyping with friends and making them think their speakers don’t work by moving my mouth like I am talking when really I am not (tee hee)
  • Getting pictures of my friend’s cute kids.
  • 10pm tea time (a new ritual in my house).
  • Making bread.
  • Staying in bed longer than I should.
  • Making Buck laugh.
  • Seeing Family. My in laws were in town this week and it was so great to see them!  We went to see Iris, the new Cirque du Soleil show here in LA, and it was so beautiful!

Jan and Dan and Kate on Santa Monica Pier

November 5, 2011. 52 lists, 52 weeks. 1 comment.