baby's first soul food!

It's 7:23, I'm alone (except for a slumbering baby) and I have no idea what to do with myself. I haven't found myself with free time in . . . I don't even know how long, but it has been a while. So rather than mopping the floors, thereby preventing Rowan from chillin with a filthy shirtfront all day, I figured I'd post. I'm a little bummed out that Ro has gone to bed at 7, as a) I only got to spend an hour and a half with him this evening postwork before he conked out, and b) if it sticks, this means he'll be rarin to go at 4am.

Mercer slogged through soggy streets to make it to his first Wednesday evening class tonight. He has been making the most amazing dinners as of late, so I am eating leftovers. By the time I get home, I'm desperate to spend time with Ro, and Merc picks up the dinner duties. I don't know how any moms take care of a baby and make dinner. Sedatives all around? Okay, so the pic (see above--I'm on Mercer's compuer, which doesn't seem to want me to scoot pictures around) looks pretty damn unamazing. But take my word for it and know that beautiful photos of food usually involve buckets of shellac, or at the very least an unspoiled fresh fruit.
Ro has really taken to eating. Unless we want to continuously address shreaks and mad grabs, we now have to prepare something for him to eat while we eat. Usually he grabs at whatever we're eating anyway. Yesterday I had to run into a local soul food place for work. The poprietress was really sweet, and we ended up having a long conversation about how Magic Johnson really still does have HIV. She hooked me up with the most slap yo mama meal: tender collards, crispy fried chicken, candied yams, and potato salad. I saved some chicken for Merc and some yams for Ro. Mad success (see figure 3). After giving him the yams, I tried offering him rice cereal, which he accepted with a withering look (figure 2). So thus far, his favorite foods are yams and pickles. What good taste!
We are eagerly awaiting Aunt Alyssa's visit this weekend. I'm thinking if it's nice we'll go waterparking. If not, we'll sit around eating bbq. Either way I win!
Ooooh, guess I didn't need to worry about Ro sleeping too much--he just started wailing. Mo later!


1st Day of School

R: Do you see what I see?
Mama: Yes, it's the birthday cake! It has chocolate drizzle! Drizzle!!!
R: Yes, let's eat it!!!
Mama: Way ahead of you!!!!!

Well, Ro didn't eat any but me and L sure did a number on B-nizzle's Hershey Kiss cake. Like a resolution in the UN, that sucker never had a chance. Now it's gone.

Moment of silence.

We've begun the house maintenance and minor repairs portion of our lives. Our first step was to stumble onto someone who knows what they're doing. In my program, we're all assigned 2nd year mentors who can help us out with teaching etc. My mentor's hubby is from the moutains of Arkansas where there aren't any repair people, so he's handy. And, lucky for me, generous. He came over and showed me a couple of things about light fixtures. Long story short, there's light in the baby's room now.

As I typed that last paragraph, Liz was wondering aloud where the birds on our porch went. They're like the little telling detail in the portrait that's the reason you like it without knowing it exactly. We like it when the babies go crazy when the mama comes back with food and peep. But we haven't seen them in a couple days.

I held my first class this morning. Without boring/astounding you with the force of my pedagogy, I'll just say that no one walked out, cried, or yelled "This is bull%#&*! A success. I also attended the first of my Latin classes (I'm studying Latin for my language requirement). I've never done it before, but so far it rules real hard.

Ro still doesn't know who the handsome little Narcissus in the mirror is, but he sure seems to like him.



Bonjour! The S-B family, having recently returned from a trip to Target (ostensibly to pick up some zinc lozenges and an alarm clock, in actuality to procure mountains of merchandise, including food, babyproofing supplies, and a rug) and the local used bookstore, is maxin' and relaxin'.

On the babyproofing front (no, not proofing our house against an invasion of babies . . . ), I have spent the past few weeks tracking down the lead history of this house, which was a concern, as it was built in 1895. We knew there had been some sort of mitigation effort done as part of a nationally-funded lead removal program. I tracked down the documents and it seems there was a lot done about five years back--new siding, new windows, etc. I know I grew up in an older house that was chock full o lead, but it never hurts to be careful! We'll probably have to do a little more painting and, sadly, more frequent moppings.

We have spent most of the weekend engaged in domestic pursuits of one sort or another. I don't know if it's living in the South or seeing more houses of grownups and less the apartments of my peers (no offense--y'all know I love you), but lately I have been pretty aware that my own living space lags far behind that of others in terms of cleanliness. I mean, our neighbors, my coworkers, Mercer's new classmates . . . you walk into their homes and the freakin couch pillows are perfectly fluffed. If you were the kind of person who fixed your hair, you could do so in the chrome of their faucets. And no dust on their blinds or baseboards! Cut frame to nuestro casa. View some soiled and crumpled pants of Mercer's tossed under the dining room table. See the stained couch, the artfully splattered with several varietals of barf (baby, cat) carpeting. Witness the brownie crumbs, cat fur, and old spaghetti sauce plastered to the baby's onesie as he drags his small torso across the floor . . . you get the picture. But the thing is, I don't know if I care enough. Or have the time! I mean, we've done five loads of laundry and spent the weekend cleaning and the place is still a mess. Guess we'll just never be one of those families.

Also in this week's news, on Wednesday, to be exact, Mercer celebrated the big 2-9! He and Andrea both, actually. Happy Birthday, kids! Also, both Mercer's and my parents celebrated their big 3-1. Anniversary, that is (Yup, they were married on the exact same day. Awwww!). Happy Anniversary, kids! So yeah, the 20th was a big day. Ro stayed at daycare a little later and B and Oui came from Raleigh, cake in tow, to help us celebrate. We went out for Indian food, picked up, Ro, and blazed that cake right up!
Mercer was thrilled. Ro was all, "I don't see why you jerks are making such a fuss about something you're obviously not planning on sharing with me. Now pull up my damn knee socks!"

Ooooh, also this weekend, we checked out our new neighborhood's People's Market. It turned out to be a couple food vendors, some crafts, a few fruits & veggies for sale. Everyone was really friendly and welcoming. One nice young mom gave Ro a cute onesie and we got signed up to be on the neighborhood's email list. The neighborhood has a mixed reputation--there are definitely areas I wouldn't walk alone after dark, but so far it has been a pretty friendly place.

AND tomorrow is a momentous day for many that we pillow fort residents hold near and dear. Mercer starts his PhD program. Uncle T starts his second year of law school. Auntie Kesha starts her new job at a law firm. My mama starts the sixty second year of her life. And Auntie Dre moves to Rwanda! I'm getting a little teary-eyed writing this, and I miss her so much already, but I don't have the slightest doubt that she's going to do some amazing things. And I can't wait to link to her new blog whenever it debuts!

Next time on KIPF: a tour of the new casa, featuring close-ups of all the barf splatters and dirty socks!


Rubric's Cube

So, we need a damn montage to catch everything we've been doing here in the pillow fort. It's like we were real sucky at karate the last time we spoke, and now we're real, like, winning tournaments and stuff. Like Daniel-san good.

But L helped catch us up (see "Solid!"). We moved! And the house is finally coming together. The clutter is gone, the mower is in the shed, the 5-yr-old neighbor girl has come to demand access to the BABY.

In the meantime, we've been messing Rowan's schedule around, but occasionally feeding him as well.

R: So, what are we having tonight, Padma?
L: Rice cereal....you know, rice cereal. It's damn rice cereal in water. You know that. It's what you had last night? you always smear it all over your face?...jeez.
R: Is that artisanal water?
L: Duh.

After painting for awhile and moving for awhile we went de vacaciones for awhile. It was much needed, and we had an awesome time. The S-Bs hit up Asheville. L surprised me with the location of our weekend getaway (partly b/c my bday is coming up), which was way dulce.

We stayed in a cabin on an organic farm in Western NoCacks. It had a private hotsprings sauna thing, and a full kitchen, etc. It was awesome. It even had a full stock of recent movies to watch. Baffling movies. Movies that make you wonder who signs the checks. Anyway...there was a tiny intrigued lizard friend at the Biltmore Estate, just about a half hour outside of the hot springs.

When we got there, L was all like "Don't take my foto you bozo...for serious, you're such a crumb!" And then I took her foto.

R was all like, "I'm looking at something else anyway. Let's hit the hot tub, son."

But seriously, R loved the hot tub.

Not having internalized societal messages that "getting back to nature" is good, R had fun splashing in the water and being carried through the bucolic splendor around him in a way he will only be able to overemphasize much later in life.

But, he did seem to dig it.

The Biltmore is about 8k acres. There is a petting zoo, a huge mansion, and a winery. We hit two out of three (you do the math).

R was great all the way through the tour, even when we got to the laundry maids' quarters and the early 20th century state-of-the-art gymnasium.

I multi-tasked, pretending to be an umbrella, and we wandered the approach to the mansion as well as the English style garden and the food court (where I got some ice cream).

Back at the cabin, we focused on what the S-Bs focus on most: dinos, buns and bunny ears.

But, when we returned from our "holiday," we had to finish moving. Eep! Here's a fairly representative portrait of life in our house. Lemmy (tuxedo) is watching from a safe distance, Mama is helping Ro scoot way beyond his age group and Audie (the tail in the foreground) is trying to get the hell away from newly prehensile baby-paws.

Up next!...L, M, and R acquire new digs, time-sucks, skills, and...teeth???



A great deal has happened since last we spoke, o several readers of this blog. In serious news, my family has recently experienced a major loss in the passing of an amazing man and a wonderful great-uncle. He will truly be missed.

On to lighter fare, in keeping with the remainder of this blarg's content: the first thing that has happened is that I suck, as I can't seem to ever update, so each post become more and more of a gargantuan undertaking.

Oh yeah, and also, we closed on our new house, moved into said new house (we even decided to bring Rowan and the kittens along), cleaned the bejezus out of our old place, painted the tar and feathers out of our new place (with a lot of help from some grandmas, as evidenced below), took a mini-vacation, continued to work full-time (me), started teacher orientation for a new PhD (Mercer), kept on keeping on, did a lot of pukin' and shriekin', continuously threatened to crawl off the bed, and learned to sit upright without toppling within two minutes (Also Mercer). Okay, j/k, that last one was Ro.

Along with pretty much everything . . . ever, closing on a house proved a tad bit more difficult than I had imagined. I figured we'd just sashay in, sign on the dotted line, and leave the proud owners of a Greensboro-based chunk o land. Sadly, the good people at Bank of America decided to sit on our appraisal until 36 hours before we were scheduled to close and then make it very difficult to get a loan. But very long story abbreviated, we were still able to do some sashaying. Afterwards, we ended up grabbing takeout from a new Caribbean place next door to the attorney's office. They hooked us up with some lovely champagne cola. Mercer got goat, but I didn't. I don't do goat on account of Andi doesn't do goat, and I feel her taste is impeccable. Hmmm, but where was I going with this?

Ah yes, so. Before closing, which was on a Monday, the house's kind former owner allowed us to take possession. My mama and T came down from Farmville to assist with the effort, and Mercer's mom came and stayed through to the bitter end! She was a champ. Mercer & I had to make some snappy, 7am-in-Home-Despot style decisions, and we ended up with a lot of green. The study's kinda asparagus-colored, and the kitchen is chartreuse, in honor of Alyssa.
However, we now need to paint the cabinets something fierce. I am enjoying my new to-do lists, which are nothing like my old ones. A year and a half ago, my to-do list might've looked something like this:
1) Finish 30-page paper on the sociopolitical implications of the legacy of eugenics on the sexuality of disabled populations.
2) Drink another whiskey ginger.
Now my to-do list includes such items as:
1) Paint the cabinets.
2) Seal the tile grout in the bathroom.
3) Try to squeeze in time to brush my teeth on occasion.

Another major development in our lives vis a vis Rowan's life:
Yup. The introduction of solid food. I know, I know, mama's milk is best, and you're supposed to wait until a kid's at least 6 months, if not 9, to start on solids. But he seemed constantly hungry! And no matter what I seemed to be eating, he wanted some too! His reaction to the rice cereal has been lukewarm . . . lots of raspberries and making of the toothless old man face.
We also gave him some smushed-up banana the other night, which seemed to incite simultaneous disgust and amazement (maybe he takes after Auntie Jane in that regard). However, he looooooves dill pickles and can really go to town on Korean melon. Wow, I sound like the worst mom ever. Not only did I introduce solids wayyyy too soon, I also have foregone the "Wait several weeks to a month between introducing new foods in order to gauge potential allergic reactions; introduce only very mild, bland, and extremely watery veggies after rice cereal" figments of baby-raising wisdom. I thought I'd be pretty guarded when it came to introducing new foods, but having a sixteen-pound ball of wiggling, shrieking, spastically-moving baby grasping at whatever fare I happen to be savoring has changed that notion pretty daggone quick. And whatever: it's not like he eats 'em, he just pulls a vampire baby and sucks the juice out of 'em. Plus, how can you say no to a face like this?
Up next: vacation, all I ever wanted? The S-Bs rock Hot Springs/Asheville, NoCacks.