I Fell Down and a Baby Popped Out.

In that order, but it took a whole day to achieve my life’s greatest accomplishment.

In 1981, March 23 fell on a Monday.

This year, my Angel Boy is in New York at a conference at NYU. My BABY boy is not a baby anymore. That’s a hard concept to grasp…

The day before…
I took my dogs, Beowulf and Sabrina, out for an early morning walk.

My mom was going to come over around noon and take me shopping — see, that’s where I get it from!

It was a full week past my due date and those pesky Braxton Hicks contractions were terrifying me on a daily basis. My mom was the head RN of Women’s Surgical at a local hospital. She thought a bit of retail therapy (see what I mean?) would take my mind off of that discomfort.

At that time, my son’s dad and I lived in an older part of San Diego; Hillcrest. The sidewalks were deteriorated with huge cracks and fissures.

With my big belly full of Angel Boy blocking my view, I tripped and fell — not hard — but with sixty extra pounds on my normally one hundred pound frame, I was more than a little ungainly.

I remember being super embarrassed for anyone to watch my feeble attempts to get up. Luckily, no one was out that early. I leaned on Beowulf (one-hundred-pounds of Akita/Husky/Wolf) who stood about thirty inches at his shoulders, and he was a sturdy support to help me up.

I continued walking home — just a few blocks — and didn’t think much about my fall, but I did tell my mom when she picked me up to go to the mall.

She knew everything there was to know about birthin’ babies.

She reminded me that she had told me a zillion times not to go walking alone this late in pregnancy, but I replied like I always did, “Blah, blah, blah…I’m not listening to a word you say.”

We stopped at a lingerie shop and she bought me a beautiful rosebud sprigged shortie nightgown.

As we were leaving the store, I whispered to her, “Mom, I think I wet my pants.”

(Dumb me, who had read every single book ever written about pregnancy and childbirth, didn’t comprehend what had happened.)

My mom instantly went into what we always called her “nursey” mode.

Quizzing me non-stop about any other symptoms in a very calm voice, we cut short our shopping day (darn) and drove home.

I don’t want to be too gross here; let’s just say other things were leaking out of me, too…

Suddenly, those Braxton Hicks contractions became the real thing.

I called my doctor. It was time.

All during my pregnancy, I had planned to deliver at home, au natural, with my mom as midwife.

Toward the end, it became obvious that my Angel Boy was too big for that to be possible.

I hate hospitals.

I didn’t want that atmosphere to be the first memories implanted in my baby’s precious brain. With reluctance, I agreed that his health was more important than my hippie chick desires, and hubs, mom, and I all went to the hospital.

The doc examined me, concluded that the fall had merely torn the amniotic sac and the potential for introducing bacteria was a concern, so I agreed to let him completely puncture it to speed up the process.

And oh yes, speed it up it did. The mild contractions intensified.

Other than the unrelenting pain, which didn’t respond to that stupid Lamaze class training, I remember my son’s dad watching “Patton” on the wall TV in the birthing room.

I will always hate him for that.

After being in labor all night, my mom and the doc had a consultation.

Apparently, my baby had a head the size of Plymouth Rock and it was stuck.

It just wouldn’t come out.

I was so upset I couldn’t stop crying.

I had failed my first test as a mom.

So…at 9:42 a.m. on Monday, March 23, 1981, I had an emergency Caesarean Section.

I was wide awake and watched it all.

In the end, I guess it didn’t really matter how my Angel Boy got here.

He was beautiful and healthy; 8 1/2 pounds and 21 inches. He scored a 9 on the Apgar Scale; a high achiever from the beginning!

Happy 33rd birthday, Professor Angel Boy!

happyballoons

babyJ
sailorsuitJ
batJteddybearJ

Advertisements

Best JewMom Film: A Review of “Guilt Trip”

Since it’s almost Purim and Passover, this is the PERFECT time for a little JewMom guilt, dontcha think?

First of all, don’t go all hinky on me; I maintain the right to use the term “JewMom” not only affectionately, but proudly, respectfully, and accurately, because I AM a JewMom. Probably the JewMommiest Mommy of them all, to be totes honest with y’all.

ince it’s almost Purim and Passover, this is the PERFECT time for a little JewMom guilt, dontcha think?

I CONFESS (this IS Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife and I DO confess transgressions and deep dark secrets every once in a while just to keep me honest and to keep you guys on your toes)

So, I CONFESS that I saw “Guilt Trip” three times in the last two weeks. CRZY. Cray. Beyond cray.

Why, you ask? Netflix stuck? TV broke? Dementia? (That description is from my snarky son, Angel Boy, I mean DOCTOR Angel Boy.)

Here’s how it happened. I was baking up a storm, a marathon baking sesh ‘cos my son, DIL, AND tugboat man were all arriving at Casa de Enchanted Seashells virtually within hours of each other, which meant that I had one train station pickup and two airport pickups back to back to back.

While the Ginger + Ginger Cake was in the oven and chocolate chip cookies were cooling on a rack, I poured myself a glass of chard and searched through Netflix for something funny with which to entertain myself while i allowed myself a relaxing moment or two.

On Netflix “Guilt Trip” came up a few times in New Releases and Newly Added and Suggestions for me, but I kept looking for something else, cos the thumbnail pic of Seth Rogan and Barbra Streisand didn’t really call out to me – film marketing companies need to work on their thumbnails! — but then nothing else did either, so I thought I’d give it a try.

I’m so glad I did ‘cos it was an unexpected and sweetly funny surprise. Rogan and Streisand have a great chemistry together; natural, easygoing, playing off each other effortlessly. Road trip films are a tried and true formula; moms and sons is a savory twist to the genre.

I love movies that aren’t full of gratuitous violence, gratuitous sex/nudity, and have happy endings. If you’re like me, you’ll like “Guilt Trip”.

A SHORT SYNOPSIS: As UCLA organic chemist grad and  inventor Andy Brewster is about to embark on the road trip of a lifetime to sell his product, a quick stop at his mom’s house turns into an unexpected cross-country voyage with her along for the ride.

BEST MOM QUOTE EVER: “If all the little boys in the world were lined up, and I had to just pick only one, I’d choose you… every time.” (Streisand to Rogan)

Every mother and her adult son SHOULD see this film together, whether you’re a Jewish mom like me or not. They are, after all, always our baby boys, no matter their age. Like I tell my son, there are worse things to endure in this world than having a mother who loves him as much as I do.

It is SO funny. I saw a lot of myself in it — the zillion phone calls, screaming out his name at the airport, the son going to school 3,000 miles away from home (we don’t even want to GO THERE) — Angel Boy and I haven’t gone on a road trip together, but it might look pretty much exactly like this one if we did, except for me winning a steak eating contest.

Actually, we did something similar when I flew to Goettingen, Germany to visit him for his junior year abroad at the University of Goettingen when he was at UCSD. We spent a week together traveling around Germany. I had an amazing time, even though we got stuck in a blizzard, and even if I was prolly a bit annoying. OK, maybe a LOT annoying, but still, to spend time like that with my Angel Boy was priceless. Spending the night at the airport in Frankfurt is still something that makes us laugh.

Aside: In the film, there’s a LOT of blatant product placement from Kmart to Costco to QVC, but it wasn’t too distracting and i had to admire the chutzpah.

The second viewing was with Angel Boy and DIL. I think DIL probably enjoyed it more than my son; he cringed a bit during some of the scenes of Rogan with Streisand that we thought were HILARIOUS. I think it all hit a bit too close to home at certain moments, LOL. And yes, I too have purchased underwear for my adult son. I confess…

DIL thought that UCLA as Rogan character’s school and the UCLA sweatshirt was “art mimicking life” and perhaps a SIGN FROM THE UNIVERSE because Angel Boy recently interviewed for a teaching job there (fingers crossed!) and because all I wear are t-shirts and sweatshirts from the universities my son has attended. Right now I’m sporting  a “Someone at Yale loves me” t-shirt under a “Yale Mom” sweatshirt. I am SUCH a cliche, I know, I know.

And i’m drinking out of a Yale/Hello Kitty water bottle. Pathetic, right? I know.

The third viewing was with my tugboat man and I know he liked it mainly ‘cos he didn’t fall asleep once, ha ha!

I hope I’ve “guilt tripped” you into seeing it, too, and I hope you like it as much as we did.

I totes recommend “Guilt Trip” (2012)
I give it 5 Louboutins out of 5
Christian-Louboutin-Pigalle-Plato-Spring-2013Christian-Louboutin-Pigalle-Plato-Spring-2013Christian-Louboutin-Pigalle-Plato-Spring-2013Christian-Louboutin-Pigalle-Plato-Spring-2013Christian-Louboutin-Pigalle-Plato-Spring-2013

Got Leftover Sweet Potatoes?

Or yams? Or pumpkin?

(I did.)

MeatFreeZoneAt our house, it’s a meat-free Thanksgiving. 

Even though I haven’t eaten any meat or poultry of any kind since 1971, I used to continue to roast a turkey for Thanksgiving for my son and guests up until a few years ago when I learned about the horrors of factory farming.

Now I tell everyone if they want to eat meat, they can do it someplace else. I haven’t lost anyone yet, so I guess the food I do serve is tasty enough to keep ’em coming!

Here’s our Thanksgiving dinner menu:

  • Lentil-Walnut loaf (full of protein)
  • Kugel (click on it for the recipe)
  • Stuffing
  • Mashed potatoes with vegan gravy
  • Salad
  • Roasted yams
  • Challah
  • Apple and Pumpkin Pie

Challah just out of the oven. Mmmmmm.
Challah

Angel Boy and DIL have gone back to their own lives and my tugboat man and I didn’t have many leftovers because we packed them up with the kids — all except for the roasted yams.

I’m a frugal and thrifty gal when I’m not shopping, really I am. Honest. I swear. For reals.

Here’s what I did with them and it was soo easy!

I used my tried and true recipe for banana bread but replaced the bananas with mashed up yams (you could use sweet potatoes or pumpkin too, of course).

Look how moist and yummy it looks along with oatmeal raisin cookies.Yam Bread

So simple; one bowl; you don’t need to bring out the big mixer for this one.

Leftover Sweet Potato (or Yam or Pumpkin) Bread
2 cups flour (I use 1/2 whole wheat)
1 cup sugar (brown and white)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
Mashed yam/sweet potato, about a cup
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2-3 TBS milk (or plain, unflavored yogurt)
1 tsp. vanilla (optional: 1 TBS pure maple syrup)
1/3 chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

Mix oil, eggs, vanilla, milk. Add sugar(s) and mix well.
Add mashed yam and mix well. I use a fork; it’s so easy!
Add flour combined with other dry ingredients and nuts. Mix well.
Turn into a loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for about fifty minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
When cool, I make a little glaze with 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 TBS orange juice. It adds a nice sheen to the top of the loaf.

Super delicious with an afternoon cuppa. My fave is ginger tea. Enjoy!

I Fell Down and a Baby Popped Out.

In that order, but it took a whole day to achieve my life’s greatest accomplishment.

In 1981, March 23 fell on a Monday.

The day before…
I took my dogs, Beowulf and Sabrina, out for an early morning walk.

My mom was going to come over around noon and take me shopping — see, that’s where I get it from!

It was a full week past my due date and those pesky Braxton Hicks contractions were terrifying me on a daily basis. My mom was the head RN of Women’s Surgical at a local hospital. She thought a bit of retail therapy (see what I mean?) would take my mind off of that discomfort.

At that time, my son’s dad and I lived in an older part of San Diego; Hillcrest. The sidewalks were deteriorated with huge cracks and fissures.

With my big belly full of Angel Boy blocking my view, I tripped and fell — not hard — but with sixty extra pounds on my normally one hundred pound frame, I was more than a little ungainly.

I remember being super embarrassed for anyone to watch my feeble attempts to get up. Luckily, no one was out that early. I leaned on Beowulf (one-hundred-pounds of Akita/Husky/Wolf) who stood about thirty inches at his shoulders, and he was a sturdy support to help me up.

I continued walking home — just a few blocks — and didn’t think much about my fall, but I did tell my mom when she picked me up to go to the mall.

She knew everything there was to know about birthin’ babies.

She reminded me that she had told me a zillion times not to go walking alone this late in pregnancy, but I replied like I always did, “Blah, blah, blah…I’m not listening to a word you say.”

We stopped at a lingerie shop and she bought me a beautiful rosebud sprigged shortie nightgown.

As we were leaving the store, I whispered to her, “Mom, I think I wet my pants.”

(Dumb me, who had read every single book ever written about pregnancy and childbirth, didn’t comprehend what had happened.)

My mom instantly went into what we always called her “nursey” mode.

Quizzing me non-stop about any other symptoms in a very calm voice, we cut short our shopping day (darn) and drove home.

I don’t want to be too gross here; let’s just say other things were leaking out of me, too…

Suddenly, those Braxton Hicks contractions became the real thing.

I called my doctor. It was time.

All during my pregnancy, I had planned to deliver at home, au natural, with my mom as midwife.

Toward the end, it became obvious that my Angel Boy was too big for that to be possible.

I hate hospitals.

I didn’t want that atmosphere to be the first memories implanted in my baby’s precious brain. With reluctance, I agreed that his health was more important than my hippie chick desires, and hubs, mom, and I all went to the hospital.

The doc examined me, concluded that the fall had merely torn the amniotic sac and the potential for introducing bacteria was a concern, so I agreed to let him completely puncture it to speed up the process.

And oh yes, speed it up it did. The mild contractions intensified.

Other than the unrelenting pain, which didn’t respond to that stupid Lamaze class training, I remember my son’s dad watching “Patton” on the wall TV in the birthing room.

I will always hate him for that.

After being in labor all night, my mom and the doc had a consultation.

Apparently, my baby had a head the size of Plymouth Rock and it was stuck.

It just wouldn’t come out.

I was so upset I couldn’t stop crying.

I had failed my first test as a mom.

So…at 9:42 a.m. on Monday, March 23, 1981, I had an emergency Caesarean Section.

I was wide awake and watched it all.

In the end, I guess it didn’t really matter how my Angel Boy got here.

He was beautiful and healthy; 8 1/2 pounds and 21 inches. He scored a 9 on the Apgar Scale; a high achiever from the beginning!

Happy 33rd birthday, Professor Angel Boy!

happyballoons

babyJ
sailorsuitJ
batJteddybearJ