A Lil’ Sprout

When I was a child, my mother would try her damnedest to get me to eat my veggies. I had no problem eating [canned] peas, corn, and green beans. But anything else? Good luck, Charlie.

Since moving in with my husband (boyfriend at the time), I have had the…pleasure… of eating those wackadoo vegetables my mom had tried so hard to get me to eat.

At my office in Korea, our ajumma (아줌마) would cook all sorts of [scary] things. From rehydrated fish soup, to filleted angler fish.

0eb3ab75f7e93513310c227ea684a758

I also delved into the wide world of veggies. Broccoli and mushrooms in particular. The ajumma used amazingly delicious and FRESH vegetables. My mom had made the freezer variety. So no wonder I disliked them. Freezer does NOT equal fresh. There’s really no comparison.

Since moving back to the US, I’ve continued to “retry” previously detested veggies. Including one of the sides of tonight’s dinner: Brussels sprouts. Not too bad, actually. Jason roasted them up with a sprinkling of pepper and season salt. And they are pretty cool looking on their ‘vine‘ as well.

Roasted-brussesls-sprouts

Source

Thanks, Jen for this weeks WIAW!

Advertisements

One Down, Three to Go

The Tuckelberry has turned four months old. It’s amazing to see how different he is now as opposed to three/3.5 months back. Included in his array of new abilities are:

rolling over * great head stability * grabbing AND holding things with both hands while laying and sitting * sitting up (assisted) * standing (assisted) * lots of cooing * LOTS of “I’ve discovered my lungs” shrill screeches * hand sucking * smiling and recognizing mom and dad

Image

Tucker’s FIRST ride in the stroller in November VS. his LATEST ride in the stroller in February. Such a difference… in size and alertness.

Tucker12

Here he says with his eyes: Hurry up Woman. When before he was pretty much: Ho Hum….

Tucker14

The first time Tucker “met” his bird/tree friends at the end of November, he didn’t really know what to think.

Tucker13

Now, he owns the mat, and all the tree friends attached.

The downside of having a baby who is now four months old, is he’s entered the “Four Month Sleep Regression” stage. This means that our little man sleeps really poorly at night. He had, for the longest time, been sleeping several hour stretches; like 4-7 hours, which essentially constitutes him sleeping through the night. Now we’re lucky if he sleeps 2-3 hour stretches. It’s quite trying on his poor mom and dad. Although, regardless of how much he sleeps, he still gives us smiles every time he wakes up, be it from a nap or in the morning.

October

Tucker 19

November

Tucker16

December

Tucker 20

January

Tucker 18

February

Tucker 21

Not too shabby for one-quarter of a year old…

Finding My Voice

I used to say, when people would ask what I do or what I like to do, that I write, and by extension, I am a writer. I guess in high school and through undergrad, that was true. I was a writer. It was something I did, and some would say I did it well. Since graduating in 2003, I’ve found it difficult to write–really write–for myself.

In grad school, of course I had to write; I wrote papers on teaching strategies for partner teachers and substitute teachers. I wrote lesson plans for teaching poetry and meiosis. But I stopped writing for fun, for fiction, upon completion of my Creative Writing degree course work. It feels, to me, that I have stopped being creative.

With my second BA, I focused my attention on the world stage, on geo-political relations, and politics in general. I concentrated on the economy and comfortably engaged in conversations with my peers and instructors about discrimination in public schools and the state of the impoverished. I felt a sense of urgency and importance with this field of study, whereas I hadn’t with my others.

Thinking on it now, I know that all of the things I found, and still find, interesting and important, ARE. Why would I have spent ten years and tens of thousands of dollars on an eclectic education? Granted, my first degree was for me. Creative writing and Anthropology were passions. But, I fear I wasn’t passionate enough to move forward with them. As much as I loved Anthropology, once I discovered that the professor I had hoped to study under at Arizona was retiring before I would even get there, I let it go. And I figured if I was going to BE a writer, I didn’t necessarily need to go to grad school to do it. Maybe that was naive.

So, in lieu of studying congenital degenerative bone diseases in bipedal hominids in Arizona, or continuing to develop my writing prowess anywhere that offered an MFA program, I decided to pursue teaching.

In my head, I envisioned teaching 10th grade English; my own 10th grade experience was, to this day, a memorable one: our teacher was great and he encouraged my writing. So I pursued a Master’s in Secondary Education. But to no avail… I am not a teacher. While I did work as a teacher for our district’s summer literacy program, I wasn’t able obtain a full-time position; I didn’t look too hard though, to be honest–I went on one interview. I did substitute teach for two [nonconsecutive] years.

I moved on, and I re-enrolled at university. I dabbled with pre-med for a year before finding my stride with political science. Two years later, I had another BA. Prior to 2009, I had intended on applying to a graduate program in Colorado. But again, life had other plans.

My life has made some twists and turns in the last 3-4 years. I’ve lived abroad, gotten married, bought a home, and became a mother. I don’t regret those things. But as my tenure at my current job as an editor and writer (not the KIND of writer I initially set out to be) for the English language educational (not quite the TYPE of education I had envisioned) materials publisher is so up in the air, I have to reflect on my career choices and options.

Last month I applied to renew my now-expired level one teaching license. Actually, I applied two months ago, but they sent it back requesting additional funds, so I had to get that together before sending it off again. And, for the last few weeks, it’s been just a waiting game. Since it’s been about three or four weeks since I sent it off, Jason and I agree that I need to give them a call on Monday if I don’t hear back this weekend. If they never received it, I just hope that the bank can stop payment on the two cashier’s checks I had to draft.

Plan C is to line up a few jobs to apply to that aren’t in education. The Girl Scouts are hiring; that could be interesting.

So; long story.

Sign

Happy Feet?

There are tiny blisters on my toes from taking my son for a walk. I’m a fool for the shoes I wear. You can ask my podiatrist, he’ll confirm it. 

When I was younger, and my mom was a single, working mother, she put me in the day care in front of our apartment complex. The complex where we lived multiple times throughout my childhood. I’m not sure why we kept returning to that one, but I can recall at least 4 different apartments we lived in there. 

Anyway, the daycare (I think) was owned by the same people who owned the complex and as such, they were allowed to use the complex’s swimming pool. During the summer months, we would cross the parking lot, holding the hand of the 3-4 year old in front of and behind us, and wait patiently (as 3-4 year olds are want to do) for our swimming lessons to begin. After our lesson, we’d have some free time. I remember that the bottom of the pool was paved or textured (or what ever the pool lingo is) much like the infamous “popcorn” ceilings so many people despise in older homes. Every week I would come home with some serious blisters and abrasions from the pool’s bottom. Just from walking/skipping as you would expect a kid to do who can’t quite reach the bottom.

As a desert-dweller, my body runs warm. I’m a flip-flop girl, through and through. Once I hit college, where we were given absolute freedom of footwear, I decided without much hesitation, that if it wasn’t too cold (by my standards this means pretty much February through October) I was going to be comfortably sporting a pair of flip-flops. The summer between my freshman and sophomore years, I lived in my sandals. They were Tevas and I L.O.V.E.D. them. They lasted a very long time. 

I’ve had Tevas since that were never comparable to those first pair. I ended up throwing them out because they had absorbed so much water on a particularly rainy spring day that all the dirt and grime from years of wear gushed from them as though a nasty, dirty sponge. My feet were SO dirty, I had to skip my workstudy job in favor of washing my feet. Weirdest voice mail I’ve ever left. Hands down:

“Uh, Kat, I can’t come in this afternoon, my feet are dirty and I pretty much have to toss my shoes. I’ll make up the hours tomorrow.”

I’ve also had Birks and Doc Martins, which both had a certain appeal. Except when you go to slip on your Birks and miscalculate the edge–the painfully rock-hard edge that encompasses the perfect impression of your foot. Except when you realize you’re “a day late and a dollar short” for the Doc craze and they’ve since lowered their standard of production such that your [superawesomeandamazing] pair of would-be waffle-stomper sandals unravel their seems within a few short weeks.

Because of that one summer, and the years since, of wearing my flip-flops, I’ve developed not only bilateral plantar fasciitis, but more recently I was diagnosed with a few pinched nerves and tarsal-tunnel syndrome. The latter one may be partly caused by the influx of postnatal hormones running amok and wreaking havoc on my joints.  

This leads me full circle to the blisters on my feet today. Had I not been wearing the blue tweed ballet slippers on my walk, I wouldn’t have gotten the blisters at all. And I wouldn’t have had cause to remissness about shoes and times gone by.

Image**Question: Where have your feet taken you?**