Saturday, April 10, 2010

Babies, Snakes & Casserole

Wow. That one word sums up the past three weeks of my life.  My daughter arrived on St. Patrick's Day at 7:17 pm, beautiful and healthy.  To say The Sprout has a healthy appetite is an understatement.  She eats like an animal.  She is an animal...a grunting and squawking baby human. The act of giving birth the old fashioned way, followed up by marathon breast feeding is the ultimate mammalian reality check, particularly during the months of Spring.  I have never been so aware of new life during the season of Spring before this March, and it is kind of nice.  Beautiful actually.

So yes, the baby is here and now that I have grown accustomed to utter sleep deprivation...I can see a  dim light through the hormone fog and I felt like I could post a bit.  Much has happened in the past three weeks, visits from family and friends all here to greet The Sprout and spend time with Lil' Bit.  Chef has had a crazy work schedule with staff changes and the holiday weekend, so it was fantastic to have the extra helping hands of loved ones for those first few weeks as I recovered from childbirth.  Although, with Lil' Bit gone toddler wild I use the word "recover" in the loosest definition of the word.

Thursday was nuts.  Thursday encompasses my past three weeks into one day of totally craziness, and I would like to share it with you.  Maybe you can relate, maybe not. 

It began at 3 am with The Sprout wanting to eat.  This means much more than it sounds.  I have to nurse her for 20 minutes as a minimum, and burp her or hold her up right for at least 10 minutes. During that time she usually poops, which sounds remarkably like some one is making cappuccino. I am going to save you the gory details, but lets just say it takes 45 minutes to about an hour each feeding/pooping/burping session and I must repeat this process every 2 to 3 hours throughout the day and night for the next three months.

At 7:30 am Lil' Bit woke up calling my name.  "Mommmmy."   Game on.  We had breakfast and got dressed.  I packed up both kids into the car and we took off to meet Chef's brother and family to go pick oranges at Sandy Point Grove for 29 South. I strapped The Sprout onto my chest and set forth.  We went to "the club" for lunch. Lil' Bit went for a dip in the pool. I managed to scarf down half a sandwich before you know who was hungry again.  By 1:30 pm we made it home and Lil' Bit went down for her nap.  I gave the newborn a bath and she fell asleep as well.  Silence fell upon the house.  Lovely silence.

Oh how I wished I could have stretched out with a book and relax.  I had been going strong for 11 hours at this point, but No.  I had to break the precious silence to call the health insurance company to add The Sprout.  UGH.  After finally decoding their automated system on the phone,  I was put on hold.  I started some laundry.  One thing is for sure...there is more pink in my life than I could have ever wished.

I finally spoke to a human being who told me I had to put the request in writing, sign it and fax it to them.  So I set to task.  I typed up a letter and fax cover sheet on the computer and then on my way to the kitchen where the fax machine is I happened upon a snake in my house.  The second in a week.

A young black racer, or common garden snake was poised to strike, coiled with his head reared up dead center in the middle of my entry room. There was no way for me to get to the kitchen without possibly disturbing it.   Thank god my girls were sleeping.  I fled back to the bedroom and called Chef.  He was in a meeting and ignored my call.  So I texted him.  "Please Call...there is a snake in the house! Helllp!" 

"Do not let the snake out of your sight.  I don't want to loose it in the house."  He said to me when he called back.  "I am on my way."

I had planned to spend that brief hour blogging, but now I was on serpent surveillance.   I sat down on the stairs and watched the snake move into my dining room. I watched the damn cat (who brought the snake in) lay there and stare at the snake.  I thought to myself as I sat there, "Why don't I shoo it out with a broom, why am I waiting for Chef?"  But the thought of the snake spazzing out and racing into my bedroom where my newborn was asleep was too much for me to deal with alone.  So I spent my only solo time in 11 hours with a snake. Chef arrived with a forked stick and removed the reptile from our home.

The air conditioning man showed up 20 minutes later just as Lil' Bit woke up from her nap.  The AC broke.  Did I mention that?  Luckily it is spring, not dead of summer, so we opened the house up.  Chef went back to work.  It was 5:30 pm and I had not so much as thought about dinner.  Running now at 14 and 1/2 hours the last thing I felt like doing was cooking and cleaning.  Then I remembered...the casserole!

My dearest friend Kate had spent the previous weekend cooking, cleaning, and caring for Lil' Bit.  She was fantastic and while she was here she made a few meals to put in the freezer just for days like the one I had just survived.   Pictured above is Orzo, Shrimp, and Pea Casserole, and as managed to wrestle it out of the freezer with one hand and The Sprout in the other I thought to myself how lucky I am to have such thoughtful people in my life. 

I popped the cassarole in the oven.  Sat down on the couch, opened the new Vanity Fair, The Sprout latched on while Lil' Bit sucked on an ice cube watching Sesame Street.  It was the end of the day, and I looked at my two girls and just sat in awe.  I am 29 with two beautiful kids. Wow. 

We ate dinner at 7 pm and it was delicious.  Chef came home and the day came to an end.

Whew. With the arrival of our new daughter life is full.  Wonderfully full. 


Anonymous said...

I remember those times so clearly but now they are 11, 9 1/2 and nearly 8... The days are so long and the years fly by.... enjoy!

Bob Sam said...

Yaaay! So glad to read that you are settling into the new routine -- which, aside from long sleepless hours, sounds like no routine at all. In the words of Stephen Stills:
We have no choice,
But to carry on.

inmotion said...

awe is a damn good way to describe what i feel after reading. in awe of you beautiful momma! what stories you have! and the picture of the washing machine bin is priceless. love to you and yours...snakes and all

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Such a treat to find your blog! Amelia is our favourite beach... in fact, we were just there for my birthday last week. Edward, too! I'm sure to return here to your site often!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I just went to your restaurant site and I cannot believe it. We've eaten at your wonderful place on several visits. A truly delicious experience! Such a small world.