knocked up personal

Long time no me

When you read about pregnancy, happy is the predominant emotional theme. Which is good, don’t get me wrong. But I doubt if I am the only mother-to-be on the planet who is struck dumb with jaw-clenching, heart-stopping terror at the prospect of motherhood – and where, then, is our survival guide? There’s a few palliative columns in your average “what to expect” book about how becoming a parent can be anxiety-causing, and that it’s normal to feel afraid. Seriously now, the term “afraid” so minimally addresses how I feel. I am caught in a blizzard of frozen panic, snowed under by fright.  I need a book on how to convert an office into a nursery when all you want to do is watch episodes of House and re-read old mystery novels  as your body relentlessly balloons and your brain disintegrates.  Week by week.

I’m sure it doesn’t sound like it, but I’m actually happy to become a mom; there are things that I’m really looking forward to, I swear. These aren’t cold feet talking (despite the blizzard metaphor) – rather, every element of my adult psyche is desperately circling in my head in some broken game of musical chairs, as the uneven, tuneless jack-in-the-box music plays, trying to eye which parts of my being will have no place to sit when the music stops in December. It seems very real and evident to me that I will have to sacrifice some pieces of myself to become a mother – it’s an equation that seems as natural to me as the patellar reflex. Something new comes in, and some things have to go to make room.

So I’ve been thinking it was time to give up the blog. I’m not feeling even remotely creative (possibly because I am crusted over in panic, I grant you) and I am not drinking enough wine these days to do anything like keeping my hand in. I haven’t been reading other blogs or wine news. My whole interest in wine has scabbed over, I think in my anticipation that I could not both be a mother and a wine blogger, possibly any kind of blogger at all. Because honestly if I don’t blog about wine I don’t know what I’m entirely comfortable blogging about. It’s all very… exposed out here without a stemmed glass, isn’t it?

But then, to quote Alice, “I almost wish I hadn’t gone down that rabbit-hole–and yet–and yet–it’s rather curious, you know, this sort of life!”

Thus I am trying to dig myself out, gentle reader, of the numbing-dumbing snowbank. Melodramatic maunderings aside, I am taking it quite entirely on faith that I can be a mommy and a wine blogger. (My husband thinks I can.) It seems rather like Big Rock Candy Mountain at the moment, that combination of existences, but why not treat it like it could be true for a while and see what comes of it, I suppose? I’m honestly not sure what you’re going to be finding here from now on, but I’ll try to make it something. Don’t get your heart set – I make no guarantees.

Oh, and I had a tasty little Oregonian Pinot Gris the other night at McCormick & Schmick’s – called Cloudline, and evidently the consulting winemaker is Véronique Drouhin-Boss – which was lovely with my friend’s scallops and slightly less perfect with my pan-fried flounder.

food & wine pairing grapes knocked up restaurants reviews

kicked in the pants

Thanks to an impromptu chat with a wise new mother, I was suddenly inspired to throw off Preggo Prohibition and Freaking Have A Glass Of Wine Already (my words, not hers). Yeah, mothafuckah……! (flips the upside-down bird at abstinence) Take that! I’m BACK!

Since the rapidly growing criatura is the size of a turnip this week, we’re celebrating said humble root vegetable with take-out Thai food and a Jaboulet “Parellele 45” Cotes du Rhone Rose 2007. Makes sense in my head, anyway.

After ordering the Scamp household classic Thai food comfort order (spring rolls, pad thai, red chicken curry), I toddled off to World Market for some wine, thinking vaguely that they might have chilled wine. It’s been so long since I opened my cellar closet door, I couldn’t even remember what was in there, and I certainly haven’t been keeping anything cold.

WM doesn’t have a cold box, unfortunately, but I enjoyed browsing anyway and I bought a couple of wines from their Wine Speculator Top Whatever List display (an 05 Lehmann Shiraz and a Mosel Riesling), but for tonight’s momentous occasion I grabbed the Jaboulet Rose for only about $11.99, which is reasonable if not ridiculously cheap for said bottle.

I mostly went to WM because it was quite close to the restaurant, Blue Bamboo, which is the Thai place closest to my house. They’re both in this ridonkulous strip mall on Highway 71, and I was mitigating the guilt over my splurge on Wednesday’s dinner by not driving all over creation. For the record, in Texas this can be a challenge. I have found some decent inexpensive everyday wines at WM, so I have to give it at least a B- as far as a wine shop goes.

Blue Bamboo gets a C, I think, after their second chance. It took a Really Long Time to get my take-out order, and their pad thai is stunningly bland, though the red curry was acceptable and the spring rolls had nothing particularly wrong with them. I’ll try eating in the restaurant before I give up on them completely, but Thai Spice in Lakeway is much better, for the same money or less.

The wine wasn’t cold when I brought it home of course, and the bean was insisting on food immediately upon my arrival home. What’s a wine lover to do, in this situation? Unless you have a way cool insta-wine-chiller, I recommend the method indicated in the photo.

The Jaboulet CDR Rose is a charming salmon pink in the glass. Nose of grapefruit, raspberry, and strawberry, with a hint of herbal-greeniness. On the palate, this mutha is TART, with flavors of strawberry lemonade with mineral ice cubes. Nice body and comfy mouthfeel. A tasty rose, complex for its price point, but not too involved.

With the pad thai, which needed lots of lime to bring it to life a little, the wine’s fruit just disappeared, leaving all the tartness and mineral – rather not The Thing, if you understand me. With the curry, however, which was much spicier and had that sweet-creamy richness of coconut milk, the fruit was much more forward. It was kind of like the tartness, and to some degree the mineral, was so busy fighting the hot pepper that it never made it to my tongue.

The wine is made up of 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault and 10% Syrah, according to Jaboulet’s website. I’m not going to gabble on about the French region of Cotes du Rhone just now because it’s late and my womb treats everyone better when I get some good sleep. More than one post in June, though – I promise!

knocked up personal

Lame Salad

Seriously with the first trimester fatigue?

I’m sorry, people, but the bean just keeps sucking all of my creative energy out and using it to build a placenta and kidneys and synapses and other stuff it thinks it needs. Meanwhile, the Scamp languishes in obscurity, gathering cobwebs and inflicting unremitting guilt upon me, your inadequate host. I’ve missed Wine Blogging Wednesdays and Wine Book Clubs and all sorts of great stuff. I don’t even read wine blogs these days! Oh, the horror!

I remember discovering Basic Juice and enjoying it so much, and then I remember how sad I was when the supply dried up. I don’t mean to abandon you, really – it’s just that all I do is work and sleep and stare off into space while blearily creating life. Dullsville Township, population: me.

Oh and please don’t assure me that it only gets worse when the kid sheds me and starts screaming. If you have nothing nice to say… maintain radio silence, if you please.

Back soon, if the rumors about the second triathlon are to be believed.

knocked up

Say my name

The hu’b and I are having our first parenting disagreement, and since I have no reason to call Car Talk, I thought I’d present it for your consideration, gentle reader. Consider… The Name.

We were invited to see Blue Lapis Light dance on the Federal Building about a year ago, and while it was getting dark enough for the performance, I was reading through the program. I happened upon a list of donors and found the most exceptional name! Brace yourself: Pebbles. Wadsworth.

Just imagine what a woman could accomplish in the big wide world with a name like Pebbles Wadsworth Middleton! And we could nickname her PW, or P-Dub, or Bull-bull… Anyone with a name this phenomenal would invariably grow up to become a trial lawyer, a Texas politician, or a deep sea explorer.

Alas, the bean’s father can not perceive the twinkling awesomeness of this name. I still can’t understand what his objections are, as whenever he tries to talk about them, all I can hear is Pebbles Wadsworth Pebbles Wadsworth Pebbles Wadsworth Pebbles Wadsworth Pebbles Wadsworth Pebbles Wadsworth Middleton.

Oh wise denizens of the magical interwebs, what do you think? Am I guilty of intended child abuse, or the most rockingest mama in the world?

knocked up personal

Midwife drives brother-in-law to prayer

So, I’m interviewing midwives for The Big Day. I mean, obviously, the right candidate will be there all through the script work, reading and rehearsals, but really it’s all about the Opening Night. (har) Never really gave it too much thought, honestly — not like I do when I realize there might be a raised eyebrow or two over my lefty, granola behavior, given my state of residence. I always figured I’d see a midwife instead of an OB/GYN, as I was planning to get pregnant, not sick.

But my 74-year-old father-in-law, who is the last of the blue collar democrats and understands the political implications of a woman’s right to choose and everything, was severely taken aback by the midwife thing. Like, way.

I’ve talked to Dad-in-Law a little bit, explaining that 70% of births in Japan and Europe are attended exclusively by midwives, and that those countries have much lower infant and maternal mortality rates than the US does. I’ve also explained that midwives will only take on low-risk patients, so that if the tyke is presenting breech or I’m having twins or something, they’ll march me off to an obstetrician post-haste. I’ve even considered buying him a copy of The Business of Being Born, which I heartily recommend to you all. Slowly but surely, I think I am calming his fears for me and his new grandbaby.

Not so in the case of my brother-in-law, who told my husband that working seeing a midwife instead of a doctor was “dumb,” and that he’d be praying for our family. Brother Dear is certainly closer to The Jesus than I am, but I wouldn’t call them bosom buddies. Thusly, I think a thank you card from one of the trinity would be a nice gesture, since my reckless trusting of midwives has so fervently brought my in-laws closer to god.

That being said, of course I’ll take all the prayer I can get.