Sunday, August 27, 2006

Lower your blood pressure: Feed. Change. Nap. Repeat.

After waking up to the 3B alarm clock, Mama and I started the day with a fudge brownie with butterscotch chips from the batch that I made last night. They would have been a lovely dessert after our green salad and Mom's (mine) macaroni and cheese, but there wasn't enough time for the brownies to cool before we went to bed, so we had to have our first taste for breakfast this morning.


After that, it was time for Barky and 3B to have their breakfasts. Barky was done and ready to go out in about 23 seconds, but he had to wait for his brother to finish before we did. It was a nice day--warm, but not too humid, so we were able to stay out for awhile. Not as long as we did yesterday, when we got out early, thanks to 3B's early waking, stopped at Cameron Perks for iced coffee, scones, and brunch for 3B.

3B's schedule was similar today, with brunch coming after our walk. After that, there was much newspaper and book reading. Mama was engrossed in Kafka on the Shore, as she has been all week, while I was busy leafing through the Sunday NYTimes and WaPost. I'll be glad when she's done with Kafka, so I can find out what the deal is with Col. Sanders being a pimp, and so I can float through another Murakami book. For me, Murakami is in the same category as Paul Auster, more for the feeling that I get when I read their books--as if I've been able to walk a mile in someone else's mirage--than for any similarities of literary style or mechanics.

Speaking of dreams, that part of the day ended with my nap, while Mama fed and played with 3B. My nap was followed by Mama's nap, during which I reclined on the couch and continued to shuffle the pages of the papers, with 3B napping on my chest while Barky slept at, and on, my feet.

After that round of naps, it was time for another quick walk for Barky, in the gathering gloom, while 3B had an evening snack. We took a quick turn around the back of the bowling alley, where the chicory and summer weeds that used to wave their blossoms have died off and now just rattle in the breezes.
Dinner for Mama and me was leftovers from last night, which suited us just fine; we love Mom's mac and cheese--sour cream is the secret, although last night I splurged and sprinkled the top with bread crumbs soaked in olive oil to brown into a crunchy topping as it baked, so it was even better. And leftovers are the plan. Since 3B came along, we've been trying to both cook more meals at home and make larger meals, so we don't have to cook every night. We both like to cook and bake, and doing so tends to bring us together in the kitchen and around the table more often and for longer than microwaving a paper tray of frozen food does.

Don't get me wrong, just last night we had frozen pizza, and earlier this week we even had frozen burritos--albeit with Spanish rice and a salad, but still--so there's still a place on our plates for frozen foods. It's just that we're trying to indulge ourselves, feed 3B good foods, and enjoy our larger family every chance we get. It does take a bit more time, but when the rewards are Noodles with Cashews in Curried Coconut Sauce; Linguine with Roasted Red Peppers, Peas, and Pine Nuts; White Bean and Vegetable Gratin; Thai Fried Rice; White Beans with Spinach, Garlic, and Tomatoes; and Curried Rice Salad, the time is well spent.

Of course, there are nights when we eat in shifts because one is either feeding or soothing 3B while the other eats. Some nights we get him into his swing or bouncy seat for the duration of the meal, but sometimes that doesn't last through the meal. Regardless, the good food and good company and the fun we have cooking and eating make the time and effort of shopping and preparing these meals worthwhile.

That said, cooking those meals, along with the feed-change-nap-repeat cycle and the laundry cycle--wash, dry, fold, put away, take out, put on, take off, apply spot remover, repeat--does take up a fair amount of our days, leaving little time for what used to be central features in our lives, such as work, blogging, bad reality TV, and so on. But we find ourselves at a new peace in this new life, as if it were the life that we were meant to lead, and everything leading up to this point had been impatient rehearsals and frustrating delays. That's not the case, of course, we were happy before, but we've been pleasantly surprised by how much better life is now.

I wasn't aware of the physical effects of all these changes, other than the side effects of sleep cycle interruptions, until I went to give blood this week. I missed my regular appointment right after 3B was born and finally remembered this week to go in and donate. During the screening, they measure blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and blood iron level. I give every eight weeks and my blood pressure is always in a good range, but this time my blood pressure was down significantly from that range, causing even the phlebotomist to comment--and that's in spite of my having gone back to work for three days this week.

Turns out that brownies for breakfast are good for you after all.


  1. Anonymous9:40 AM

    I love the fact that you and Mama like Murakami and Auster, two of my favorite writers. Plus, you eat brownies for breakfast. Clearly, you're my kind of peeps!

  2. Anonymous12:22 PM

    Ahhh you have found the joys of the Kings diet. We all know how crappy the King eats. Well when he and Cilla went for the old blood work to see if I was dying turns out Cillas the one who needs to watch the ol pressure and cholesterol(spellcheck please).The King was tip top. Seems beer and twinkies is the perfect diet for a healthy life. Let me know if you need any other eating tips.

    TCB on eatin right!!

  3. Too bad we can't save up the low blood pressure for when they're toddlers!

    Brownies for breakfast gets a thumbs up.

    Naptime is my time to cuddle up with the bag of dark chocolate kisses hidden in my desk. We're avoiding chocolate for the kids (they need caffeine and sugar, yah right) so I have to sneak it.

  4. Anonymous2:33 PM

    What a blissful routine you all have.

    Lowered my BP just reading about it.