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November 25, 2000

Baby Shopping is Hard To Do

John made scones this morning, the buttermilk ones I've been making. We had those and grapefruit and then I mostly sat with Fezzik and watched Fox Kid's countdown of the top ten Digimon. I hadn't watched too much of the series, but it was fun going through a bunch of it at once. Fezzik just cuddled in close and got petted a lot. I did some laundry between cuddles while John did other stuff around the house. I didn't really do much at all.

Around noon John and I decided to go out and do our baby shopping. He had his list of things we didn't have and the things we really thought we should buy ourselves. There was a list of things that we didn't have that we thought would be fine for other people to buy if they wanted to, but there was also the list of things we wanted to make our own decisions on. It turned out that a showing of Charlie's Angels was soon, so I just grabbed a couple of White Castle cheeseburgers, nuked 'em and brought them with me.

We got there just in time. When we reached the theater the previews were just starting and the commercials had just ended. Perfect. The movie was exactly what I had expected and half-hoped it would be. The odd mix of Austin Powers, Powerpuff Girls, Matrix Kung-fu, MI fast cars, and many elements from the TV show was fascinating for me. Not deep. Not profound. And definitely not plot heavy, it was really fun, funny, and there were moments when I was clutching my tummy from laughing way too hard. Some really gorgeous special effects, too. What struck me was that it really did take on some of the Powerpuff Girls aspects of having females that are very distinctly feminine but also really tough and intelligent. I enjoyed that a lot.

From there we headed to Babies R Us with a detour through Starbucks, where I just got a steamed cider and a cookie bar. John got a mocha and a cookie and we happily ate our snacks before going into the store.

It wasn't quite as overwhelming this time, mostly because we knew what it was we really wanted. So we wandered through the aisles and got the things we thought were good, doing a lot of reading, comparing and stuff right there. With all the different possibilities right there it was very easy to figure out what we wanted and what we didn't. So that was really nice. Stuff like a thermometer we'd be willing to use, baby bottles with the right kind of nipples and flow systems with the flexibility to use my breast milk in them, emergency formula in case something goes wrong, and various other small things. It was a pretty long list and by the time we got to the changing table, my legs were really tired. We debated over a changing table, not sure if we wanted nicer, more solid furniture or if we should get anything at all with the railed changing pad. Took us a while to finally just get the one we both wanted to get but weren't sure if we should get. The money that Mom and Dad sent made it easy to just get what it was we wanted rather than being too worried about whether it was long-term practical. When we finally chose I sat down in the long display of rockers and just rested for a while. I get tired so much more quickly, now.

In fact, on the way home, I napped in the car, and then went right to bed and napped until my subconscious nagged me into waking back up again. I knew that, eventually, if I didn't just get up, I really would sleep all night.

John, in the meantime, had put together everything, washed everything, reassembled a lot of stuff and started piling the things we'd likely use first on the changing table. We have Stuff for the Fish, in quantity. Pretty much more clothing than we could shake a stick at, and most all the equipment we thought we might need on bringing the kid home.

I was sleepy, and a little listless when I got up. Took me a while, but I finally decided to make ramen by the book to actually taste what the basics were like and then fiddle with it. I even used the ramen from scratch recipe in the book, but got badly stymied when I wanted to use my pasta machine to cut the noodles. The dough by the recipe was so soft that I couldn't cut it into noodles without the noodles being so soft that even picking them up squished them together into a doughy mass. I think I went through the damned machine five times before we finally had a boiling pot of water on the stove, and just took them directly from the cutters into the boiling water. When they hit the boiling water they didn't stick to each other anymore. With all the noodle shenanigans the soup had time to simmer a bit too long and it probably tasted funny. I also found out that the roast pork I had made a while back had fuzziness on all but one of the pieces. That wasn't a pleasant thing to find out. If I'd found out earlier, I could have roasted another loin chop, but as it was, I just used the one that wasn't fuzzy.

It turned out edible, but not particularly inspiring. John really loved it, but I wasn't pleased by any single element, completely. But I now knew how the recipe worked and how it tasted. I also had a much better idea of how to tweak things. The noodles were a bit too light, not nearly chewy enough and really did need some egg protein and flavor in them, rather than just the soda water that the recipe asked for. The soup was very dashi strong, and could probably have used a bit of the soup base, however that tastes, for flavor on top of the very plain base. The Tampopo soup had poultry, pork, and other flavoring ingredients. So it probably wouldn't hurt to use some of the meat stocks in there, too. But I was mildly disappointed by the whole thing as it was just *so* much work.

Then again it was so much work because I really didn't know what I was doing. So, even after just this one episode, it should be much easier, now that I actually know more of how the dough needs to be and what elements to put into the soup rather than just bumbling about. The one good thing about the noodles was that they were exactly the right thickness and width for ramen. So I got that much right.

It had taken so long it was 11 by the time we cleared the dinner dishes. Fezzik gobbled his food and sniffed around for more, so I gave him some treats. He is very definitely feeling better than last night. He marched right on out our bedroom door when it was obvious that we were going to sleep and I could hear him trundling about with a steady if slow step on the porch, then down the stairs and then, late at night when I was up, he came back up the stairs, a steady step at a time. I wonder if he's just learning?

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