Sunday, 28 April 2013

New Things: Kitchen Edition

This weekend was a weekend of new things for me. Both kitchen related.

New thing #1:

First and for most, I made my very first homemade pie from scratch. A few days ago my neighbour came up to me while I was digging weeds in our garden and asked if I liked rhubarb because she had an abundance in her garden and couldn't possibly use it all. Well, I like rhubarb but I have never baked or cooked with it. My mom makes a killer rhubarb almond mousse, and I love rhubarb and strawberry pie so I thought why not I'll make something and ended up with a pile of rhubarb on my front porch the very next day.

I opted for rhubarb strawberry pie because strawberries were on sale at the local grocery, we had a Sunday dinner coming up, and my inner Martha Stewart emerged. I can make pie, who can't make pie?

Well, turns out I can't make pie. Pie crust, to me, is ridiculously difficult to make and until this afternoon completely beyond me. I googled recipes until I was utterly overwhelmed, and finally remembered my amazing power mama,  domestic goddess extraordinaire, friend-for-all-seasons, Patti, who makes the world's best butter tarts.  Long ago she told me her pie crust recipe was so easy even she could make it (I don't think she'd be the first to claim she's a domestic goddess, but she is to me for this day alone). So I called her up and begged for the recipe and a step by step guide. A bit of phone tag and several messages later she relayed to me (all over voice mail) the exact road I had to walk to get to homemade pie crust success. I followed her every instruction and ended up with and afternoon that looked something like this:

 If I might claim one gloating moment this weekend, may I say that this pie was homemade perfection in every way.... though I only ended up using two stalks of rhubarb and now have to find other means to use up the last six stalks. Ideas anyone?

I need to work on my crust molding technique.
New thing #2:

Look and adore.

One of my biggest regrets in life thus far is not registering for one of these for my wedding. At the time I wanted a red kitchen aid mixer more than any other thing on our three page registry, but we lived in an apartment with a tiny kitchen and very little counter space. I thought it was totally unpractical storage wise and so I passed. It has haunted me ever since.  My sister got one for her wedding, my sister-in-law just got hers last fall, my cousin Marsha shakes her head at me every time she comes over to help me make a cake and pulls out my rusty old, no-name, hand held mixer to beat the batter or icing. All kitchen aid owners I know have raved, and insisted there is no better kitchen gadget. A must have, a guaranteed success, but alas I didn't register for one, and as years passed there was always an excuse not to get one. They are pricey, and the colored ones more so than the white one (and I had to have the red one); my kitchen wasn't big enough; did I really need one?  And so I waited, and waited - for the lottery, for disposable income, for a bigger kitchen, divine intervention - I don't know, but I waited for four long years dreaming of this day. Then today at breakfast as I was pouring over a flyer from the local Wal-mart I came across the best ever, cheapest deal on a red kitchen aid mixer I have ever EVER seen.  My eyes glazed over, and still I knew that with our recent home purchase, big move, and step down to one income with me staying home this probably wasn't the best time to buy my mixer. Suddenly my husband, love of my life, maker of all my dreams come true, says to me "let me get you the mixer, an early birthday present." I gawked. He shrugged, "You've wanted it for so long, you deserve it."

I nearly wept at his feet, and he drove me to the store this very morning to get me my mixer. Husband, I love you, for so many reasons more than just this darn mixer, but just a little more because of it. If that's possible.

Anyway, she's home, after four long years, she is home and sitting proudly in her rightful place in my kitchen. I am so excited I have already read the manual three times cover to cover. My husband asked me what the first thing was that I was going to make and I have been pouring over internet recipes ever since, but I can't seem to decide.

Any ideas?  If you are a kitchen aid owner, what was the first thing you made with your baby? Anything that is a 'must make'?  I was thinking buns, but maybe a cake is better - thoughts? 
Marsha, will you come bake cakes for us more often now?

Monday, 22 April 2013

Due Date

This is not a blog about miscarriage, grieving or overcoming loss. It's a blog about family, the day to day ins and outs of our Boyd life. It started as a way to keep out of town family and friends in touch with our lives, and over time it's become a bit of a journal for me - a place where I can keep my thoughts and ideas documented, photos organized, and milestones recorded.

It's become a very important space for me, a place where I can rehash, and relive our day-to-day lives and the small moments that make up the whole of my life as a mother, a wife, a friend, a woman. And because this is my space I am going to write about what happened on October 27th, 2012, the day I lost our baby. It is a strange place to write from, months later on the day our baby would have been due. I look back with sadness, but also with the benefit of time. Time that has softened the loss and given me perspective to understand that even though I thought the pain was intolerable at the time I could and did tolerate it. Minutes melted into days and weeks and before long a full day went by that I didn’t think about my miscarriage. Then another day. There was guilt that followed because I felt like I was somehow betraying my baby by not dwelling or remembering constantly, and there was fear - that cold and clawing dread - because I didn’t want to forget, because forgetting would be the ultimate betrayal. Within the heartache and the deep deep pain of losing a baby before you have even had a chance to meet him, there is also a desperation to remember, to cling to the love and the life that was once so true and strong inside you. 

It took a long time for me to realize the truth that you never forget, that forgetting would be impossible. It's not forgetting, it's just the remembering that changes and reinvents itself into something that doesn't have to tear your heart out every time you look back. And so you move forward, armed with this new way of remembering.

I thought I could never get there, but today on this precious day when there should be a baby in my arms but isn't, I can say that I have arrived at that place. I know that I have arrived in that place because I am here in my space writing about that sad, sad day in October while honoring this one in April. A new way of remembering.

October 27th was painful in every way your imagination would allow you to conjure. My husband and I had longed for that pregnancy for a while. It didn't come to us as quickly as my pregnancy with Jake did, and when the moment finally arrived we met it with excitement and complete blind faith. We took it totally for granted, assuming that two lines on a stick guaranteed a baby nine months later. But similar to my pregnancy with Jake the first trimester sped by relatively normally. There was morning sickness, fatigue that had me in bed before 9pm everyday, and all kinds of salt driven cravings, but nothing was out of the ordinary. At twelve weeks I heard a strong and steady heart beat, and was coasting well into my second trimester. The thought of miscarriage, if there had been any, was long gone. So waking up to the reality that something was suddenly very wrong was a totally surreal shock to me. Within a few hours everything we had planned for, everything we had hoped for disappeared down the automatic flush toilet at the regional hospital. 

I came home from the hospital that night to Jake, wide awake, blissfully unaware, and needing a bath. Life waits for no one.

To dwell on the details of that night on this day would, to me, be just as bad as forgetting it altogether. It is not how I want to remember our baby today. Instead I want to dwell on the beauty that was born out of our loss. The deeper relationship with my son and my husband that bloomed from that grief. The wonderful faith that life knows exactly what it is doing, that no sadness and no challenge can be greater than all the joy that is infused in the every day. The joy of the life that is, the relationships the stand firm, the ground that holds you. The beauty that comes from actively making the choice every single day to go forward.

The baby we lost is never forgotten, it might go without saying but on this day saying it feels like the last thing I can do before I take another step forward, another step away from October 27th. 

Sweet baby of mine, how loved you are and will always be. For you today we danced. 

Love mama.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Dinner for two

My husband's new job has required a lot of travel, which means Jake and I often find ourselves spending a whole lot of time together alone, and while I feel entirely blessed and grateful to be able to stay home with him at my own choice, I have to humbly admit that some nights by the time dinner rolls round and I realize this is my third meal of the day making conversation and sharing food with a three year old I start to crave a bit of adult ambiance. True, that most times I don't even notice - but this last time husband was away I noticed.

While I set the table for two in preparation for a delicious meal of frozen pizza and veggie sticks I stood for a moment and considered if there was any way I could infuse maturity into this meal. After a few seconds of pondering I lit a candle at the centre of the table, turned on my Musette de Paris cd, and buttoned the bib around my date's neck. We enjoyed our Italian cuisine together over candle light and french music, discussing the unique differences between freight trains and passenger trains. It was very adult-like all round.

The next evening it was butter chicken and naan, with a little white wine, the same candle, the same three year old, and our much missed daddy.  And we still discussed freight trains.

Sitting back now to enjoy and nice Saturday evening alone with husband.
Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Bike Parade

Jake started a local preschool a few weeks ago. It's just two afternoons a week, but for some reason I was really nervous about him starting since he's just only turned three years old and was thinking about the many reasons he may not have been ready. Of course, it has been totally fine.

One lesson I have been learning throughout this parenting journey is that sometimes our children are ready for things before we are. Typically I am the one not ready to let go and move on into the next phase of life, but instead of admitting that to myself I pretend like he's the one who is not ready, and sometimes I think my inability to let go probably holds him back a little. So I am very glad that I bit the bullet and let him start preschool so early because he loves it, and it has unraveled pieces of him that have really allowed him to come into his own personality more fully.

And while he looks forward to preschool every time now, this morning he was hopping out of bed particularly excited because today was bike parade day. The children were instructed on Tuesday to bring in their bikes, trikes and scooters decorated and ready to parade around the neighborhood. I spent the morning with my boy digging through gift wrap boxes pulling out ribbon, tape, cardboard, and bows. Together we transformed his tricycle into something akin to a badly wrapped birthday present. It was ribbony, slightly tacky, and very hodge podge but he loved it and proudly road his trike around his Preschool block like it was the best day of his life.... and I can imagine it just might have been.


On your mark....

Get set.....