In Which I Rant, Rave, Neglect My Child, & Bake a Pie

Oh, this is going to be a seriously random blog post…just the way I like ’em!

Rant 1
Do you know what the most annoying thing about being a woman my age is? You can’t succumb to any sort of stomach virus or upset without a whole host of well-meaning family members assuming you’re pregnant…particularly if you already have a child, and that child is over the age of 1 year. I suppose it’s partially my fault for using social media as an outlet for my misery, but cutesy responses like, “oh, are you trying to tell us something, Megan” and “does Drake have a brother or sister on the way?” was not what I was looking for. PEOPLE: I am throwing up every twenty minutes without stop. I can’t even keep down water. THIS IS NOT FREAKING MORNING SICKNESS! A little sympathy is appreciated.

Rant 2
82 degrees. IN MARCH. WHAT IN THE HECK?! I don’t even want to talk about it.

It’s stupid.

There.

Rave
Ohmygoodness. I have a new obsession, and that obsession is the Menu Planner app for my iPhone/iPad. (Yes, I have both. Yes, I am currently sitting in front of an iMac and have a 2nd generation iPod Nano somewhere around here…Apple has made lots of money off of this family.) In theory, the Menu Planner is going to save me the hassle of being solely responsible for deciding what we eat. I can sit this handy database in front of Husband every week, say “pick,” and then shop accordingly. It will, in theory, be awesome. It’s not the actual cooking (or even the cleaning up) that gets me, it’s the DECIDING. And the random shopping excursions that inevitably lead to wasted food. No, in theory we will now be saving money, eating family meals more often, and eating things that I won’t mind sharing with LilRunr. In theory. In practice, there is a TON of work that goes into setting up this app (importing recipes, organizing ingredient lists, etc.) so I’m hoping that I can find the time to actually devote to it. Somehow.

Neglect
It would be easier to get things done if the child had a set, predictable bedtime…but alas, this is not so. Since January, we have been on a teething, cold, teething, flu, separation anxiety, general toddler-ness roller coaster, and the result is that the boy who USED to be able to go into his bed awake, fall asleep on his own, and sleep through the night is now a clingy, screaming, frequent waker. He obviously can’t be blamed for being sick or teething, but the last three weeks have been a NIGHTMARE. (Many props to Aubrey, who has been waking at least this frequently, non-stop, for the past 8 months.) The week that Scott was in North Carolina, LilRunr was waking up at least twice a night. Then, when Scott came home and I began fantasizing about catching up on a little sleep, LilRunr caught the flu AND got an ear infection, and he literally refused to be put down. Poor kid. He felt so crummy and the only comfortable place to sleep was in physical contact with Mom or Dad. We were working through that as a team when Scott caught the flu from LilRunr. Holy moly. I got to redefine my definition of tired and thank my lucky stars that I didn’t have to drive anywhere or operate heavy machinery.

Then, we got through ALL of that. The little guy is completely, 100% back to normal…but he’s now hopelessly used to falling asleep in someone’s arms. There are nights where he gets all squirmy and refuses to sleep and you just KNOW that if he could just lie down in his bed he’d be so much more comfortable. Try explaining THAT to a 1-year-old.

Last night, it was 10:00pm — 2 hours after bedtime — when the “push the kid around the house in his little car until he falls asleep” last resort failed. Child was asleep, I picked him up, and set him in his bed. He rolled over, woke for an instant, and popped up screaming. I walked back in the room and the screaming stopped.

Now, we have to this point responded to LilRunr’s every whimper. The thought of letting the little guy cry it out always seemed so barbaric…but I had the feeling I was being played and that the precedent for future sleep and parental manipulation was being set.  Scott and I had a talk, and we decided that we were going to let him cry. “He’s so tired,” Scott said. “He’ll drop off soon.”

5 minutes of frustrated screams later, I walked back into his room. I wanted him to know that Mama was still there and wanted to see if he’d thrown his pacifier out of the crib. (He had). I told him that Mama loved him but it was time for sleep and he needed to stay in his bed. I kissed him on the forehead and handed him back his pacifier. Little man actually laid down on his own and grabbed his foot (somehow, the foot is a security item. When he goes for that, it usually means he’s about to fall asleep.) I whispered “sweet dreams” and left the room…

The screaming resumed. Scott and I sat on the couch, holding hands and counting the seconds. I started to cry. Three minutes later, I had reached my limit and was getting up to go to LilRunr’s room when it became abruptly quiet. I went to peek in his room, and saw the boy peacefully sleeping, curled up with his “Mr. Kitty” lovey and holding one foot. Whew.

And you know what? For quite possibly the first time in 2012, the boy slept through the night. He woke content and started playing with the music box attached to his crib. No screaming, no crying, no upset. I still feel like a horrible, terrible, neglectful mother…but I’m trying to tell myself that those 8 minutes were an important lesson for both of us. Right?

Pie
In honor of Pie Day, let’s have a little chat about pie. In my last produce delivery, I ended up with an entire bag of Meyer Lemons. In answer to my question, “what do I do with all these lemons?” my brain reminded me of a blog post I read over at the Smitten Kitchen for a lemon pie that used Meyer Lemons…ALL of the lemon, peel and all. I was intrigued, to say the least. There is the small problem of my complete and total inability to make a pie crust, but I figured I’d just buy the pre-made kind and go from there.

That was the plan, until I realized that it was a two-crust pie. Phooey. The pre-made pie crusts I usually use are the frozen variety. I find the refrigerated, try-to-unroll-this-as-it-sticks-hopelessly-to-itself variety are just as annoying as any attempt to make my own crust.

This explains why one morning you could find me wielding a rolling pin like I actually knew what I was doing. And you know what? The crust turned out decently. I totally messed up the edge, but I ended up with two non-torn, mostly even circles. That’s a win for me.

The filling itself, which was comprised of thinly-sliced (all of the recipes recommend the use of a mandolin, which I do not own. One said that the lemon slices should “fold over the edge of the knife like a clock in a Salvador Dali painting,” which I attempted to accomplish) lemon left to sit in sugar for a lengthy amount of time. Combine with eggs, pour into the shell, and voila! You have pie.

Pie

Yup, I had pie. Two bites of pie. The first one was a flavor explosion that delighted the senses. “Oh, joy! Lemon! Sugar! Sour! Sweet! Yum!” By the second bite, however, the flavor explosion was completely overwhelming. It was way, way, way, way too rich for me.

Ah, well. At least I conquered the pie crust.

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