Silas Boy’s other name, or at least as he might think, has always been Look-at-that-head-of-hair! His nurse at the hospital wanted to put a bow in it, my mom would spit-slick it into a Poindexter part. I had to shampoo it three times a week because it’d get so greasy from people petting it. I have to admit, I was proud of my boy’s mane.
Last Saturday, follicle tragedy! Mr. Ables brought Silas to our bed for some morning snuggly time and I noticed that our white sheets were covered in baby hair. No! Could it be? Bables has a receding hairline!
Order up some baby Rogaine!*
But it’s true. At six months old…Silas is balding.
Poor guy. He now resembles a baby George Costanza.
But WAY cuter.
*note: I took him to the doctor for this. Really. They had to rule out vitamin deficiency or alopecia. He’s good, just shedding his brunette locks for some blonde fluff. Guess he needed a change…and I’m realizing how proud I’d been of his baby toupee.
—I am desperately trying to shed the rest of The Baby Weight (gummi bears, Rita’s Italian Ice, gas station slushies, Bruster’s key lime pie ice cream…etc etc I know where it came from and Bables isn’t to blame). No sugar, healthy eating, and exercise.
Enter Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. (I hang my head in shame…I’m a total Mom! with exercise videos and everything)
Mr. Ables made fun of it, so I made him go through the 20 minute workout with me one night. And it’s hard! Really!
So now the man thinks he has a go-to quick exercise.
What makes this funny is:
that he wants to “Shred” and then go out for cheeseburgers
that he works up such a sweat that once I looked over and he was doing jumping jacks in his skivvies (or “mannies” as I call them)
that Jillian calls us “ladies” and says stuff like “if you’ve got it, flaunt it”
I love him. He’d want you to know that he’s downstairs doing pull ups and other manly exercises on his Tower of Power.
Sometimes when I make something new in the kitchen and it turns out amazing…I really wish I could do a back hand spring.
or do the Cabbage Patch
But I can’t, so I’ll just blog about it.
Thanks to good ol’ Pinterest, I made this tonight:
Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese.
I know, I know…this recipe screams SUMMERTIME, but we ate it warm and it left me wishing I could do some sort of gymnastic move. Even a somersault.
It’s a “real food” “clean eating” recipe for what it’s worth.
And dang…it was SO GOOD.
I made some changes because of stuff I had/didn’t have in the kitchen, and so I’ll add those in parenthesis:
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni or (like I used) rotini pasta
Olive oil (or regular) cooking spray
1 red bell pepper, sliced into wedges (I used two red peppers because they were on sale and omitted the others)
1 green bell pepper, sliced into wedges
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into wedges
1 red onion, thickly sliced into semi-circles (I had a sweet onion on hand, so used that instead)
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced into half-moons (I used two)
1 eggplant, quartered lengthwise and sliced (mine was so sad and brown and screaming to me that it was out of season and probably actually from last season)
1 cup whole cherry tomatoes, halved (I used four smallish Caprice tomatoes, but I think sun-dried ones would be awesome here too)
5 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled (let’s be honest, I probably used more)
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped (I used two)
1/4 tsp each sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh chives (my herb garden sent up about four chive shoots so far, so I used them and a few slices of onion)
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf or Italian parsley
1/2 packed cup whole fresh basil leaves (I used four mini cubes of Dorot basil that I got from good ol’ Trader Joes)
1/2 cup verjus (I had no idea what the heck this was…for your info, it’s the juice from unripe grapes…I used unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar, and only about 1/3 cup ‘cause it’s strong. Lemon juice would work, too)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Rinse under cold water to remove sticky starches; drain well and set aside.
Mist a baking sheet with cooking spray and add peppers and onion in a single layer. (I also drizzled the top with a bit of olive oil and sprinkled a little salt and pepper.) Roast in oven until just browned but not soft, about 10 minutes (or 15 like me if you want them a bit more roasted). Transfer peppers and onion to a large bowl. Repeat with zucchini and eggplant in a single layer, then tomatoes; once roasted, add to bowl with peppers and onion.
Meanwhile, prepare vinaigrette: In a blender or food processor, blend all vinaigrette ingredients into a smooth liquid (it doesn’t seem like much, but the stuff is strong and goes a long way).
Add pasta and vinaigrette to bowl with vegetables and toss well to coat evenly. Top with cheese and serve.
Keep asking your husband if he likes it because you think it’s so awesome and sort of wish he’d jump up and down and pump his fists while shouting to the heavens about how seriously spectacular his dinner is.
The recipe is from here, and go make it now…’cause it’s GOOD. Or just stop by our house today because I have about eight servings left.
"To walk alone is possible, but the good walker knows that the great trip is life and it requires companions." —Dom Helder Camara of Recife
People my age often ask me, ‘what’s it like to be at home all day? do you like it?’
And I always answer YES…because I do. I love watching Silas in his daily work of discovery and growth: it’s a beautiful journey. And I also love taking care of our home (well, as much as I can…the laundry piles are like snowdrifts in every room) and finding joy in the simplicity of a new way of living.
(and you knew that was coming)
I long for company other than my 18 lb constant companion. I am built for community, and find myself at this new place in my life without much company.
Sure, family is close by (and I love our time together), as are friends from before our move to Charleston pre-marriage, but for whatever reason we haven’t reconnected. Mr. Ables and I have yet to find a church home, or any other sort of connection-making routine. Part of that is due to being in the baby-fog, and so is understandable. But I long for deep, true friendships. Not only long for, but also need them.
I need friends to walk beside me in this journey, to point me to the Light, to locate those thin-places: the moments where the Eternal is close. I crave moments where I might guide to others to the same. I long for times where I can shrug my shoulders with others and admit that none of us knows what we are doing as mothers: but at least there is some solidarity in that.
I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever been very good at making female friends. I grew up with boys, and even when I was little I preferred building forts and playing in the mud. I made some lasting friendships with women in college—and even after—but I suppose I am a person that cultivates a few really close friendships rather than whole groups of acquaintances. And let’s face it: I’m quirky. Which means I’m awkward. In personality tests, I always score right in the middle of introvert/extrovert: I love people, but crave solitude. I’m outgoingly shy. I’m bumblingly confident.
Yet, when I do receive or even extend an invitation to spend time with someone, it always seems that something comes up or gets in the way: Silas is off his schedule, I’ve forgotten about a planned visit with my parents…so then I look like a flake: always cancelling, always rescheduling. How can I nurture relationships with others when I can’t even make a coffee date work?
Somebody tell me: how, at 32 with a baby, do I make friends? How do I nurture those friendships as I navigate the foggy, sleep-deprived waters of first-time motherhood?
Because I am ready to invite some faithful, authentic souls along for the journey. However messy and foggy and hard to schedule it might be.
Mr. Ables and I brought our boy to Charleston, a city which will always be close to our hearts. It’s the place we began our married life, the place ripe for wandering and discovery, a place that it will always be part of our story.
And it’s part of Silas’ history, as well. There was so much to show him! So many people for him to meet!
The entire visit lent itself to a familiar-strange feeling. It’s as if we had not been gone a day, yet here we were with our son—living into an entirely new sphere of life. We were meeting our past selves and seeing that who we are now wasn’t really all that different. We just have more gear now. And an earlier bedtime.
First up, a visit to my old school where I taught English for the past four years. I figured we’d visit during lunchtime, say some quick hellos, and then skip on out…instead, we ended up staying until the last bell rang! I absolutely LOVED introducing Bables to my teacher-friends and former students.
Walking in the side door, the smell of generic Lysol, old textbooks, and older lunches took me back a year. Yet, here I was—the heft of my baby boy slung on my right hip. I wondered: would I look different? Would they remember me? Would I just run into the kids who couldn’t stand me as they held on to grade-grudges?
Nah. It was nothing but love. And a lot of drool.
Most students would walk by and say, “oh, hey Mrs. Ables” as if I was always in the hallway checking late notes and wiping spit up. Teenagers are a funny breed. To be honest, I didn’t even walk close to my old classroom, I didn’t make an effort to meet “my replacement.” I guess I wanted to keep a few things in recollection.
Last year around this time, I walked in to my friend Melissa’s classroom and asked if she had any Skittles. It was 10:00 am, which made her wonder if maybe I was pregnant:
Mr. Murray: “I know a place in Boca Raton where you can get those cheeks taken in a little.”
I love the look on Silas’ face here:
Overheard in the hallway: “I think I pulled a muscle or something…Mrs. Ables’ baby is HEAVY.”
And you better believe Mr. Ables walked around with a bottle of hand sanitizer. It sure was great to see so many kids that are a part of my life, but I also felt like I was submerging Silas into a pit of adolescent germs.
We survived. I miss it: germs and all.
A quick snapshot in the bathroom because that’s normal:
Before our day continued, I hopped in the backseat of the car to breastfeed Silas. Right in the parking lot, and at that moment, boob-out, I knew a lot had changed. I wasn’t a teacher anymore. Nobody was depending on me to turn in grades or attendance or show up for faculty meetings. But someone was depending on me for, well—sustenance. I’m okay with that.
Maybe a lot has changed, maybe we only think that in order to make things seem more significant. Because you know what? People move. They have babies. What is left behind will probably be exactly the same—it’s not as if the school ceased to exist because I left. But for me, I guess it did, if only for a few months. It’s comforting to know that life is bumping along all over, that it’s only my place in it that’s changed. (more on that rambling thought later)
We packed Silas into his stroller and walked up King Street to get some frozen yogurt, and made our way to Blue Bicycle Books, where our friend Kristen works. And also because, well, you know: books.
This behavior does not bode well for the son of two English teachers.
After dinner with friends, we headed off to bed (Mr. Ables’ cousin graciously lent us her apartment for the weekend. So thankful for her!).