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December 8, 2000
a year ago
two years ago

BBQ Lunch

I woke up and put a bay leaf, a spoonful of beef stock concentrate, and another block of chocolate in the chili. I'd been dreaming of the taste of what I'd had last night, and I had thought it mildly bland, so I added some things to make it more complex and interesting. Of course the stuff had congealed completely while in the garage, not frozen, thank goodness, but pretty solid.

John was really sick this morning, when we got up. It was pretty obvious that he was going to stay home. It's kinda funny to think of it as being because his nose is bigger that a nose cold would wipe him out more; but, in reality, I think that being pregnant, I'm fighting things off more easily. Or, maybe, it's 'cause I've made such and effort to eat well, rest a lot, and take plenty of sleep that I am just stronger. Then again, with all the stress from all the things we were just through with Fezzik, the cold might just be John's body signaling that it had had enough and it was time to *rest*.

In any case, I went to work alone, lugging the chili in my iron pot with our Crock Pot in a bag so that I could actually bring it. The Crock Pot has an unfortunate tendency to tip in the car as it's a bit taller than it is wide and when filled with liquid the center of gravity goes even further up. So it tips really easily. The Cruet is so bottom heavy it won't tip nearly no matter how crazy I drive, so it got to sit on the floor of the Passat while I drove in. It was all *just* manageable though I had one really rough moment when I had put the Cruet on the ground so that I could lock the car up and with everything else on my shoulder it got really hard to bend down to pick it up.


I got it, even with my belly in the way, and managed to make my way up the stairs and to my desk, where I spooned the cold, thick, viscous stuff into the Crock Pot and set it on high and let it reheat itself. The rest of it went into the upstairs fridge and then I settled down to work. There's a ton to do and I'm gradually getting better about it. I got to talk with Geoff a bit in the morning, and it went well. He's busy with a writing assignment, and making good progress, which is good. I was having problems because some of the other developers had broken our area, so I had to go back a step to a more stable build and do what needed to be done to get all of that into shape so that I could actually build new stuff. Have some solid footing for the changes I was going to introduce.

The chili started to smell good around 10, and actually started to simmer just at 11, which was when I was supposed to bring it down. So I did that. Turns out there were eight other chilies! This after the woman organizing it had said that she'd have to cancel because there weren't enough. I halfway thought I would have been better off not bringing any, as the heavy pots and things were really messing with my wrists; and I'm not really happy with how it turned out but not really unhappy with it, either, as it was spicy, tasty and filled with the stuff I liked. It was just a big thin from the 3 cups of water in the recipe. I think I'd have just poured in the tomato puree instead of the water if I were to do it again.

I set it up and went back upstairs to work some more until a bit before noon. The lunch was supposed to start at 11:30, but I wanted to get a bit further on a stable platform before actually eating. When I did go down it was really odd to be there without John. I'm too used to doing nearly all my social occasions with John along as a buffer, and it was kinda odd to sit down with people without him. Nice, too, in some ways. But I was just my quiet self.

Peter and Sandra had had their baby a week ago, and had brought her to the lunch! She was just *tiny*. It was very reassuring to see her and pet my tummy and realize that she really could have fit inside me, as small as she is. So the Fish got just a bit more real with that, that it was possible for a separate human being to actually be inside me. There was this magazine aimed at pregnant women that said that one of the things that frightened some women was the sudden 'change of roles' to being 'someone that had a helpless human being dependent on her'. The Fish has been completely dependent on me since it was conceived. It's still dependent on me, it has to eat what I eat, drink what I drink, breath what I breath. After it's out of me it'll have more independence than it does now. I don't think it's something that I will worry that much about.

The new baby was so tiny that Peter could hold her in one hand and arm. It reminded me, very clearly, of when Fezzik was our brand-new puppy, only eight pounds and he could easily fit on one of my arms and was comforted by being held. He'd just relax against the warmth of my body, especially when he'd been crying at night, while alone downstairs in our first Redmond house. I was always the one that woke up when I heard him and I'd go down at 2 am, and play with the little puppy and then hold him until he went to sleep, even when I was half-asleep myself. John noted that if we knew anything about being parents, it was all Fezzik's fault. He may well be right.

Peter also noted that until about 1 year of age, a kid is very easy to take places, especially when in a sling. They're quiet when they're held and near someone, so it's far easier to take them somewhere while they're tiny than when they start getting bigger and more capable of doing what they want to do. We may well take advantage of that along with all the coupons for a few hundred dollars of tickets that United has been giving both John and I.

The lunch was catered by KT's BBQ and the food was wonderful, especially the brownies. I ate two brownies 'cause I could, after loading up on meats, coleslaw and beans. I didn't touch any of the chilies, as the spicy food just still doesn't agree with me and the Fish kicks pretty hard quickly after. I don't know if it's from liking it or not liking it.

The lunch itself was a huge success. Xilinx had promised to match money that folks donated, and the lunch alone pulled in about a thousand dollars, $998 to be exact, but one of the guys that had volunteered his chili and was helping with the counting added two dollars to round it out neatly. That was very, very neat to see. We've grown so much, so it seemed right that our donations should grow to match. All together, about three thousand dollars were raised, so we'll have twice that for toy shopping. Debbie likes to actually get the toys instead of donating the money because Toys for Tots usually doesn't get the money until it's too late to get toys for this year, so they wait until next year and Debbie wanted to give them toys for this year. So we'll have a huge shopping expedition on Tuesday and since we're going to be spending so much, they usually don't charge us sales tax (as it's for a charity) and give us a discount to boot. How very cool.

I went back to work and left the chili down there for a while, and then brought it back up, brought it to the upstairs kitchen and unloaded the Crock pot back into the original pot and then washed it in the kitchen up there so that it could just go back into my bag. Slow, dirty work, but nice when done. Work went on. And around 6 I realized the time, as nearly everyone else had gone home already, called John to tell the answering machine at home that I was coming home and packed stuff up and wended my slow way to the car, and after dealing with a very cranky Passat that rolled down all the windows everytime I tried to unlock the doors, I wandered home.

The garage door was open and the light was on. The Baby Buggy's been in the garage for the last week as John was working on the leaking power steering system. So it looked a lot like he'd finished the work, which was very nice. The Passat gets very cranky when it's out in the cold cold and this coming Sunday, Monday and Tuesday the temperatures out here are supposed to get down so low that the lows will be negative and the highs will only be in the teens, well below freezing. So I was very glad to have it shelter in the garage.

I went in and John was in the rocking chair with a blanket over his legs and the fire on, looking content. He still sounded pretty sick, but he'd spent a lot of the day asleep and had gotten things done in the afternoon. All of that together helped his mood considerably. I, on the other hand, was pretty exhausted from the day and hungry as it was late. John's learned a lot from the last few months and when I said I didn't know what I wanted for dinner he suggested pizza. Ricoli's was obliging and we went into a very crowded Erie to pick up the pizza, for some reason the main road was completely jam packed with trucks and we managed to find one parking spot from where we could just run in and pick up. The pizza smelled wonderful on the way home, and when we got home, I happily devoured several pieces.

Reading through What to Expect when Expecting I ran into something my mother had told me, that when she'd been in her third trimester, she'd been told that she shouldn't eat salt. In fact, she'd been explicitly forbidden pizza and the like so the first thing she'd eaten after she'd delivered me was pizza. I liked that. The book mentioned that there used to be salt restrictions during the third trimester, but also said that now it wasn't recommended. That one should still be careful about excessive amounts, but it was no longer a restriction if blood pressures were normal. I still don't know why it was a restriction or why it is a problem, but have the odd feeling that it has to do with the fact that dehydration is something that sometimes causes pre-term deliveries, i.e. causing the baby to try and be born too early. Or it might just have to do with the traditionally high blood pressure for most pregnant ladies.


The pizza was very good, though. Hot and quick and satisfying. No dog to feed the crusts to, though. So odd to think of that as simply a fact, now and to know just how much of the last of my dinners I slipped Fezzik.

We went to sleep earlyish as John was still feeling bad and we have a 10 a.m. baby class tomorrow. I don't know if it's actually a Lamaze class or not, as I'd heard that a lot of the 'tricks' of Lamaze had to do with distracting the mother, but I guess I'll get to learn a third of it all tomorrow. John and I are doing the full-immersion classes in fine Caltech style, doing three six-hour classes rather than nine two-hour classes. Bill told me he'd have strangled his instructor if he'd had had to have been with her for more than two-hours. She was just really annoying for him. I'll hope ours is more grounded, though I suspect that John and I are likely more forgiving anyway, so long as we get the information we need.

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