Friday, August 29, 2008


I wouldn't let myself post again until I had made an appointment with a counselor. It had to be done. Part of my hesitation as what would I say? Where do I start in on my story? Why do I want to see a counselor? Do I want to see one myself, or am i looking for joint counseling?

Of course it's never as hard as you think it'll be. After phone tag a couple of times, we talked today, I said I had been having marital problems, we had counselors, but they didn't take insurance, and we needed counseling that worked with our insurance. She asked if I wanted a joint appointment or single, and I said I don't know. She suggested just me alone, at a minimum I could see if it would be a good match, and decide later.

So I'm set. September 8th. Whew.

Husband came home last night, and I was happy to see him, as was my daughter. And he was happy to see us. I missed him, and he seemed to miss us. I'm glad he's home. I hope this is all true. I can't imagine being strung along by lies again.

I've been anxious this week because of what else, the job situation. Today I'm 28 weeks pregnant. Am I kidding myself, should I just accept I'll be a stay at home mom? And then what? Have I somehow shot myself totally in the foot, am I even remotely employable, at remotely the same level as I have been? Have i been blackballed in some way I don't yet know? I know that's ridiculous (the blackballing) as my job prospects have been varied and have nothing to do with each other, though in my narrow professional world, some avenues are closed to me because of past experiences. But it's not universal.

It's the quiet I can't stand. I had the gov't job interview the 20th, and just sent the thank you note this Wednesday, a week later. The would-be supervisor (who I know from a previous job) wrote me back right away and said other matters had kept her from making any progress this week but she'd get back to it next week. ARGH. Next week?! And then the part-time job - I had to write a 2 page idea paper for them last Friday. Previously they said interviews would be the week of the 8th. They wrote this week, said they got my paper, and they'd be back in touch, but no further word. Was my paper crap? Will they be in touch next week? I need feedback! Hearing nothing this week has been hard. I've seen new postings for openings, but there's a point where it makes no sense to apply, given leave. Though given how long this has been taking, maybe applying now mgiht get a job by next March!

AHHHH. I need a relaxing weekend. We're off to a college football game tomorrow. Let's not talk about the bad football experiences from last year. So maybe not so relaxing, but it could be fun. Lunch with my brother and his family Monday.

What are your plans for the three-day weekend?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Whip It Up - Week 8! - Frozen Boston Cream Pie

Well! This is it, the final week of Whip It Up. 8 new recipes, a few hits, one total WTF miss, a few what did I do wrong experiences, a few future adjustments. All in all it was a good structure to get me out of the usual boxes. But, I'm still glad it's over!

I'm going to admit I'm cheating a little - the theme this week is dessert, and last week was my birthday, and we made a fun, different kind of cake (ok, actually my much maligned (mostly deservedly so) husband made the entire thing), so that'll be my final recipe. It even uses box cake mix, but again, who cares. Use your favorite pound cake recipe instead if you've got the time and energy and don't have 25 people, 6 of whom are under 5 years old, arriving at your house in a couple of hours.

It's from Woman's Day, the August 1 issue this year. Annoyingly, it's not on the website, so no professional picture, which really helps sell it.

Frozen Boston Cream Pie
1 box pound cake mix (16 oz)
3 cups firmly packed light vanilla ice cream
3/4 heavy cream
4 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 oz chopped semisweet chocolate

Prepare cake mix as box directs. Transfer batter to 2 9-inch round cake pans; bake 25 to 30 minutes until wooden pick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes.
Unmold from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
Transfer ice cream to a ziptop freezer bag; freeze until ready to assemble cakes
To assemble: Place one cake layer on serving plate. Rub bag of ice cream between your hands to warm slightly (makes piping easier). Snip off one corner of ziptop bag; pipe ice cream onto cake. Using back of a spoon, spread ice cream evenly. Top with other cake layer and freeze for 1 hour, or wrap and freeze overnight.
To serve: Heat heavy cream in saucepan over medium-high heat just to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in chocolates. Keep stirring until well combined and melted. Pour chocolate sauce onto the center of the cake and gently spread it out to edge. Place in freezer to set chocolate, about 30 minutes.

Per serving (makes 12): 348 cal, 5 g protein, 47 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 17 g fat

Was the recipe easy to follow?
Yes - we were having a party, in a frenzy if setting up and cleaning, and box mixes are easy. What can I say. Am slightly embarrassed by my reliance on packaged goods. Also, two types of chocolate? Please. Use half a bag of Nestle morsels and it'll be good. We used leftover dark chocolate eggs from Easter. Not kidding.

Did it taste good?
The fact is, anything covered in chocolate ganache is good. There's just nothing that isn't improved by a little chocolate and cream. Plus pound cake, plus ice cream, plus a little chocolate ice cream on the side? This is one delicious birthday cake. And it looks so cool - very much like Boston Cream Pie, but is delicious ice cream cake......

Kid friendly?
Are you kidding? Ice cream cake? Heck, yeah.

Would I make it again?
Yum. Perhaps for my daughter's birthday next month, then my husband's the month after, then the holidays.........

Thanks for reading. I know this has been a little outside my usual boxes, but it's been fun. I sort of had this fantasy of taking detailed step by step photos of each recipe, in the detailed, amazing way of Bean Paste, but that quickly fell by the wayside. HOLY MOLY - check out the dalmation cake SHE just made. Jeez, I need THAT recipe. I think I am salivating.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Harder than I expected

This business trip of my husband's has been harder than I expected it would be. I wasn't looking forward to it, and neither was he, but the reality of it hit hard last night.

Initially, he suggested my daughter and I go with him - to diffuse exactly this tension of him traveling. It didn't work out, for legit reasons, and I was fine with that. The few days leading up to the trip he bent over backwards to plans things so the week would be easier for me. For example, he makes a chicken casserole that my daughter likes a lot, so he suggested he'd make that before he left, so dinners would be easier. OK, good. Sunday night he put it all together, and then started to make rice. I said why are you making the rice now? Well, so you won't have to. Um, I'm capable of making rice, and it's better fresh. Calm down. Oh, I put the non overproof lid on the casserole dish, and forgot to put aluminum foil - I interrupted him. I am capable of putting the foil on the dish before baking it.

I have a hard time when he's being overly thoughtful, actually, because I can't tell if he's doing it because he wants to take care of us, or if he's hovering because he feels obligated. And when he does things because he's obligated, that only leads to frustration on his part, because I generally hate to be "mothered" or hovered over.

Here's the thing. Last year, in October, he had a 4 day business trip to Portland. Which he extended to 5 days, because the meeting was extended. Except it wasn't. He and his then-flirtation both extended their trip, so they could consummate their relationship. I helped him pack, and asked why he was taking his bathing suit. He explained several times
how the trip had been extended. We had a long talk before he left about our relationship, me knowing something was going on, but not knowing what. Our talk was mostly about the pregnancy loss, and how hard it still impacted me. I thought he understood.

Our normal practice when traveling is to call home around 6:30, 7, or dinner time, to talk with or daughter, and then to call later in the evening to catch up with each other. The first night he was away, he made both calls. On the later call, he asked me about my then job search and I started in on the latest, but pulled back. I remember telling him that I needed to protect myself from him a little bit and not depend on him to be my sounding board. I think we continued to talk twice a night for the rest of the week, though.

I found out later - through an e-mail exchange I found - that he and fling (I've asked this before of you all - not sure what the hell to call this stupid girl) spent the last day tooling around Portland, a beautiful city (I had several great business trips there myself, always wanted to show my husband that city). They took pictures, and both had them on their computers. My husband has deleted the pictures, I've never seen them. (I've never seen this girl, either in person or via picture, part of the mystery for me). They consummated the relationship the last day. I don't think they spent the entire night together, but I am probably wrong. Maybe not through, they were traveling with other work people so might have not risked it. My husband insists it was the only time they were together. I don't know if I believe him. He says he had to turn her down "many" times throughout the fall. I once asked why, and he said he knew it wasn't right and knew the physical stuff had to be put on hold til he resolved his marriage. Again, not sure I believe him, though when he so kindly explained the girl's frustration with him it sounded believable.

My daughter really missed him on that trip. She didn't - still doesn't - usually notice our absences that much - too young to get the passage of time. But that trip was different for her. I was putting her to bed when he came home - she sprang from my lap in the rocking chair and RAN down the hall to the stairs, jumping with glee to get a hug from him. He came the rest of the way up the stairs and gave me a big, what seemed heartfelt hug, and handed me a box of chocolates. I said she really missed you. He said I missed her. I missed you. I missed you both.

He was distant that night once she was in bed, and that Saturday distant again. We just hung around home, doing small chores and errands. His coworker called him at one point, he looked at me startled, went into the other room and they had what sounded like a work conversation. He took my daughter for a couple of walks. That night, he said he wanted to do the bedtime routine, since he had been away, and I stayed downstairs while he bathed her and got her ready. His phone chirped with text messages, so I picked it up. "What are you doing now?" from his co-worker. Nothing big, but certainly odd from a coworker on a Saturday night. I looked at the history. A full day of exchanges between them. Her generally, needily, asking what he was doing. "Taking daughter for a walk. She likes acorns, has a discerning eye." "I'm not surprised., she takes after her dad." Later, "watching football - I'd give anything to be watching with you." Aha. The smoking gun.

I walked upstairs, told him on a stone cold voice I would finish putting her to bed. He obviously had better things to do. What do you mean, he asked. I said I saw the messages. He shot downstairs. I finished prayers and tucking in, and walked down.

He said what's wrong, what do you mean you saw the messages. His eyes searched my face. "I'd give anything to be with you? what's that mean?" He said nothing, searching, searching my face. I said, give it up. He said nothing. I said "get out. Go stay with your friend. You can see daughter every other weekend and one evening a week." I turned away. He said grabbed my arm. "I want more time with our daughter." I was speechless and numb. Not the response I expected.

Somehow, we ended up talking long into the night. I started what turned into my line all last fall - you don't just up and end a 12 year relationship with an affair, you have to earn your way out, try to resolve this, give us another shot. The night ended with him saying nothing had happened on his trip, and he would end the budding relationship.

And that, dear friends, is the week before I started this blog. Sunday my parents called and told me my dad was having heart surgery on Wednesday. Tuesday I started the blog. Tuesday night/Wednesday morning I had my first middle of the night wakeup/panic attack. Wednesday we went to our first counseling session. Wednesday my dad's simple heart stent turned into triple bypass. By Saturday the text messages started up again, I discovered them again, and it all blew up. I could put a link to every sentence I just typed, but it turns my stomach to think of going back and rereading those posts.

So yeah, this trip is hard. Really really fucking hard. His flight was early Monday morning. He called me/us from the plane. He called when he landed. He called at dinner. He called at night. Each time he says I love you, I miss you. He just called a few minutes ago.

I spent a lot of last night thinking - what was supposed to happen? In my husband's mind, what was supposed to happen? Was he intentionally careless and stupid so I would find out and hopefully kick him out, making it easier on him to leave? Was he going to string it along? For how long? What was he thinking? I know he wasn't, really, thinking at all. But what was supposed to happen?

At one point this spring, when we had a joint counseling session (so weird - me, him, my counselor, his counselor, all together), his counselor said it almost seems like WhichBox is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. I have PTSD because my husband cheated on me a year ago.

I've typed this a lot lately. I know, I absolutely know, believe me I get it, that either I need counseling or we need counseling, or maybe both. Picking up the phone and making the first call is the hardest part. I have names of marriage counselors who take our insurance. I've had this list for months saved on my desktop. Because laying in bed, in the dark, reliving every emotion from 10 months ago is not healthy. Not for me, for the baby growing inside, or for the marriage, and so ultimately not for our daughter, either. I wish there was such a thing as closure. But you and I both know there is not. I'm actually out, at the library, now. Needed a change of scenery from the house. My pledge to me is to call counselors tomorrow. Because if this work trip caused this much grief, if I'm already dreading seeing acorns on the ground, this fall is going to be one rough, rough ride.

Monday, August 25, 2008


A couple of weeks ago, things seemed to be breaking my way - at least a little. Funny enough, many of those good things haven't come to fruition, but somehow I'm still feeling optimistic.

The possible nanny share evaporated - the mom found a woman interested in part time nannying (which is unusual). And, no big surprise, my husband left today for his business trip - without me and our daughter. No frequent flier seats to be had, tickets over $1000. He called at dinner tonight and said good thing we didn't come, as it's not the nice part of the Pacific Northwest, but sort of an industrial area. I'm not thrilled he's away, especially given his cheating took place over business trips, but that was another job and this is a totally different circumstance. But still, it's hard.

So why the general ok mood? It's the job stuff, I know. My hope has not yet been squashed. I had the interview for the government job at the local science center. I really thought it went well. They asked me some specific questions that required knowledge of the center, and my volunteer experience was crucial to being able to answer intelligently. The husband of one of my good friends works there on the private side, so I found out after the interview that I am competing against someone from the private side. There's been a history of competition between the government workers and the private enterprise, and I asked about that, because this department is trying to merge the two groups into one cohesive unit. The director replied that there had been a history, she was trying to change it, and with 6 new hires, the government side/new people outnumbered the private side. So. Either this private side person is in, or is not in. Hard to tell, and nothing I can do about it.

I polled a group of friends before the interview to ask what, if anything, I should say about the pregnancy. In the right jacket, I don't necessarily look pregnant. (swing jackets rule!). My initial feeling had been to come clean at the second interview or perhaps after an offer. My reasoning is that it's much like a benefits/salary discussion - I know there's no paid leave, but it's a leave issue. People generally felt that at 26 weeks I should come clean in the first interview. I thought a lot about it in advance, but as a government job, it was a tightly scripted interview and there was simply no place to have the conversation.

Also last week I had to write a two page idea paper for another job. This is a parttime position, 20 hours per week, on contract. Good subject matter, good organization (I did some work with them a few years ago, two jobs ago for me), interesting work. If the hourly consulting rate was high enough, this might be the job I really want. I heard today they got my two-pager, so hopefully an interview will happen the week of the 8th, and they said they wanted to make a decision within a week. So it's possible the government job and the parttime job will be timed well. I have to believe one of them will come through. These are both good fits for me. One has to work out.

And then I have another interview the 16th - but for a job with over an hour commute each way. Simply not practical with a baby on the way, and juggling an infant and toddler. I want the other jobs to resolve before the 16th so I can withdraw from consideration.

And then I have another interview scheduled mid-October. For a job I first interviewed for in May. In MAY. My friend says I'm still the top candidate, and given how they've dragged this out so far, maybe maternity leave would be ok. Who the hell knows. Mid October? I'll be 32 weeks pregnant! No "hiding" it at that point.

So those are my 4 current possibilities. Oh, and 5 - still nothing back from the funding organization (interview in JULY). No word from any of my inside contacts - they say they're being kept out of the loop. So no idea what is up there. And then I have resumes out for other jobs.

If my two top things show no progress by next week, I have to call and register at some temp agencies. I need some money coming in, and to face facts that my ability to be hired is declining rapidly.

Good grief. What a saga.

So, what do you all think? What's the best strategy when interviewing, especially closing in on the third trimester? Would you come clean in the first interview? Over the phone? Via the cover letter? Give up looking entirely?

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I was going to continue the birthday theme by writing that my in-laws had not sent me a birthday card. Jerks. But we got home today from an afternoon outing and found an envelope in the door - addressed to me, but with our neighbor's address. They've been on vacation, so guess they got back, found the mis-addressed card, and stuck it in our door.

It was from my father-in-law. The card read - Daughter-in-law, It's your birthday.. (open)..treat yourself to a little luxury. Happy birthday

Father-in-law wrote: hope your 40th is special! Bob and Alice

My husband snorted when he looked at it - at least it's better than Best Regards!

Whip It Up - Week 7 - Warm Lentil-Potato Salad with roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

Week 7 is over - only one more to go. Last week, desperate for something to make for dinner, pulled this recipe out of a folder. Washington Post, I think. No idea when.

Warm Lentil-Potato Salad with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
Lentils and potatoes make a classic French pairing in this salad that can be served alongside roast meats, ham, or sausages, or served as an easy main course. Fresh herbs, instead of dried, can be used in greater amounts when available.

8 oz dried brown lentils (about 1.5 cups)
1 lb russet of baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
1 tablespoon roasted garlic (see NOTE)
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or vinegar of your choice)
1 teaspoon dried herbs, such as tarragon, chives, or parsley
salt/fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup mild olive or vegetable oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin live oil

For the salad: rinse and drain the lentils; sort through to discard any debris (I have never done this a single time I have made lentils with no ill effects - what is up with this direction in every lentil recipe?). Place them in a medium pot and add enough water to cover by about 2 inches. Cover, with the lid slightly ajar, and cook over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes.
While the lentils are cooking, place the potatoes in a medium pot filled with cool, slightly salted water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, the reduce the heat to medium to maintain a low boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
For the dressing: whisk together the garlic, vinegar, dried herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Slowly add the oils, whisking to form a smooth dressing.
Drain the lentils and the potatoes; combine in a serving bowl. Add three-quarters of the dressing and stir gently to combine. Let the salad sit for a few minutes, then taste and adjust seasonings. Add the remaining dressing as needed or pass at the table. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
NOTE: to roast garlic: slice the top off 1 head of garlic so that the tops of the cloves inside are exposed. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until the garlic has softened and browned. Set aside til cool enough to handle, then squeeze the softened garlic cloves out of their skins and discard their stem ends.

Per 8 servings, with 1 tablespoon dressing: 153 Cal, 9 g protein, 27 g carb, 1 g fat, 9 g fiber

Was the recipe easy to follow?
It was, except I had no roasted garlic, no time, and no full head of garlic. So I skipped. So what. Also, two types of oil? Please. I probably used just 1/4 cup of whatever olive oil was in the front of the cabinet.

Did it taste good?
The vinaigrette, despite no roasted garlic, jazzed up what could have been bland lentils. So a nice change from my usual desperation standby, lentils and white rice. Of course, it was lucky I had potatoes in the house!

Kid friendly?
Yes, she's a semi-fan of lentils, and I think liked the tang of the dressing.

Would I make it again?
Yes. Maybe with roasted garlic just to see what it's like, but then a regular, basic entree. Good, fast vegan option, especially when the weather cools into fall/winter.

Friday, August 22, 2008

40 + 4

Still stuck on the birthday theme. It's not often you cross a major milestone, so it's a period of reflection and looking ahead.

Aurelia wrote a great post about turning 40 - she's ahead of me by 6 days. She listed a few vows she made for her 40th year. Or wait, it's actually our 41st year, right, cause there's that zero year in there? I'm always confused by that. So here are my resolutions.

Like Aurelia, I want a muscle. Several of them, to be exact. I've gotten myself in sort-of shape before. I've never been really in shape, but I've had muscle, and I know I can again. Part of it is vanity, of course. My calves the past few years have really grown. I was whining to a friend yesterday that my fall/winter look is tall boots, dark tights, and knee length skirts. But there's no way I'm cramming these calves into boots this fall and probably not much of the winter either. So what to wear? But also I want arm muscles. I have no upper body strength at all and I want that to change. I can't (even when not pregnant) pull myself out of a pool, for example. But a lot of this is health related too. With two small kids, as an older mom, i want to be able to keep up with them. I don't want to sit on the couch and watch TV with them, I want to be out and about exploring the world with them. So this resolution is for me, for my husband (he'd like a more toned wife, too), and my kid(s). I can do this. I know I can.

I want to be happily married - or not married. Which means starting up the counseling again. We need to work through our issues, not just hope that time will take care of the hurt. It won't, and our marriage, and our child(ren)'s lives will suffer because of it. I want to heal, one way or another, and I know it's a long process, but I can be an active part.

I want to be out of debt. I just put this aside during much of my money worries this summer, but part of the money worries is that we're carrying credit card debt. That has to end.

This of course requires getting a job. I'm working on it. Had an interview this week and I really think it went well. I had to do a two-page idea paper for another job (interview in September) and I just finished it and e-mailed it off. Fingers crossed.

And finally, I want to be organized. I want this house organized. I know that's a tall order, given how much CRAP we have, but I've made progress this summer, and honestly, to put a baby in here we have to make much more progress. I work best against a deadline, so by November we'll have the front bedroom cleaned out, the attic remodel done, and more progress in the basement. We'll get there.

I have to end this the same way Aurelia did - 40 is going to be a kick ass year for me.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Post 40

Well, here I am 40 + 3 days, and I'm surviving. No huge meltdowns, no disasters. Just day by day life as usual, for the most part. Except for the writers block. There's a lot going on, and I can't find a way to corral my thoughts and exercise some discipline and get things done. But what else is new, that's fairly standard for me, so can't blame my lack of focus on suddenly being 40, either.

Even though, you know, it's crap, one of the first things I do every birthday morning is grab the paper and read my if today is your birthday annual projection horoscope. Here was mine:

"Just as soon as you finish the unfinished business, new projects entice you. By the start of October you're on to exciting, fresh adventures. Your personal life sparkles in November. Open your big heart to the world and make room for the unexpected - you may get exactly what you wanted, and then some."

Hmmm. I'll take it.

Do you read your horoscope?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Whip It Up - Week 6 - sweet potato salad

Aiieeeee. Busy week. We're having a few people over tomorrow for a small-ish birthday-ish party. My husband wants it to be a birthday party, I want to pretend we're just having friends over. Anyway, almost forgot whip it up. Luckily, I had tried a new recipe this week, from The Washington Post. No pic, though. I'm getting through this recipe thing by the skin of my teeth.

Sweet Potato Salad

2 small sweet potatoes (about 15 oz)
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup chopped red onion
about 1/4 cup roasted red bell pepper (may sub 2.5 oz jarred pimentoes, drained)
1 teaspoon dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

preheat over to 425; lightly grease a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Peel potatoes and cut into 3/4-inch to 1-inch cubes. Toss in 2 tablespoons of the oil until evenly coated, then scatter in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake 15-18 minutes until browned at the edges; toss once or twice during baking so they brown evenly. Transfer to a medium bowl to cool completely, then add red onion and toss gently. Use a stick blender or food processor to puree the red pepper, mustard, honey, and red wine vinegar in a bowl until smooth. With motor running, slowly drizzle in remaining 3 tablespoons of oil to form an emulsion. Season with salt/pepper to taste. When ready to serve, add half the vinaigrette to the vegetables and toss gently to combine. Taste and add more as needed.

222 cal; 3 g protein; 31 g carbs; 10 g fat; 5 g fiber

Was the recipe easy to follow?
Easy and fast. Of course we were out of honey....

Did it taste good?
Yum. This may be our favorite way ever of eating sweet potatoes. Neither my husband nor I are huge fans of traditional methods of serving them, and my daughter always turned her nose up at them. But we all liked. Made some substitutions - my husband isn't wild about raw onions, so I cooked them with the potatoes - but it potatoes take far longer to cook than onion. Should add onion no more than halfway through cooking time. Also used molasses instead of honey, out of desperation - honey would be better.

Kid friendly?
Yes - for once, she actually ate sweet potato. Only a few pieces, and no leftovers, but it was progress.

Would I make it again?
DEFINITELY. Regular rotation.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Today was the blood glucose test at the OBs. I'm at 25 weeks, so choked down the sweet stuff and sat a while, just reading a book.

I thought my best news of the day was I only gained 2 pounds the past month. That's good news.

But, when I got home, I had a call from the science center very near my house. They are a public/private partnership, and I had applied for two job openings - one through the private supporting institution, the other through the local government. I hadn't heard anything, and I know the person I'd be reporting to, and am friends with the wife of someone in the office itself. My friend told me this weekend they had been interviewing, so I was bummed, thinking another pass over. It never occurred to me I wouldn't even get an interview there (yes, I appear to have a vastly overrated sense of self this job hunt is certainly helping squash). But, I VOLUNTEER there for Pete's sake. I thought I was a shoe in. The call today was from the government side. Interview next week. That means three interviews in the next 3 weeks.

I've also found a family one block away looking for a 20 hour/week nanny share. We'll meet this weekend and discuss.

And, my husband came home and said he's being sent off on a work trip. Before my anxiety levels could start to rise, he suggested my daughter and I accompany him. It's in the Pacific Northwest, so could be a nice pseudo-vacation. We have some airline credits from a work trip I was supposed to take this spring, but couldn't because of the family funeral. Or, I still have a ton of frequent flyer miles, and the way the airlines are going, I should use them up before they're totally worthless. We'll see - it might be too close to get something affordable, but I'll try.

Last week was rough, this week is looking up a bit. Typing it out helped. A lot. Thanks for all who commented. Meanwhile, the weather has been gorgeous, I went on a long walk yesterday, and I've only gained two pounds this past month. Wohoo.

I think I might go get some ice cream! If only we had some brownies. Mint chocolate chip with hot fudge will have to do. What's your favorite flavor of ice cream? What's your favorite dessert?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

they sent us a card

Friday the mail comes and I notice a card from my in-laws. Hmmm, they actually sent us an anniversary card.

I decide to open it (sometimes I just leave it to my husband).

Generic card, wishing you happy anniversary, blah blah.

And then the signature -
Best Regards, Bob and Alice

Seriously. WTF?! Best regards? First names? Are they kidding?!

I note the card was signed and addressed by my father-in-law. Is he kidding? What the hell is this? Best regards? Wow. I decide to just leav eit for my husband to discover.

And when he gets home, he looks at it, mutters under his breath, and just leaves it on the front table.

We talked about it later Friday. It's possible his dad is just being a dork, and actually meant to be nice. It's also possible this is more passive aggressive shit. Who knows. Ignore.

Friday, August 8, 2008

I couldn't manage a card

So yesterday was my 9 year wedding anniversary. I went to three stores, looked through all the anniversary cards. And there wasn't a single one that said I'm glad our marriage is back on track for this year, hope you are sincere in wanting to stay married. Or, from here on out I promise to take marriage more seriously. Not even a plain simple Happy Anniversary with nothing else. Most cards talk about how important it is to be together over time and how great it is the other person is their support and lifeline.

A pregnant woman crying in the anniversary card aisle isn't really a normal sight, you know?

So I didn't do anything. He brought me home a big bouquet of flowers, a nice, simple card, a bar of chocolate. I teared up while reading his card. But of course we didn't talk about anything. For dinner we packed up some leftovers and went to a weekly concert at the local park.

My parents called just before dinner to wish us happy anniversary and to ask if we were getting ready to go out to dinner or what we were doing. I almost didn't answer, but thought it would be easier to just get the call over - I mean they know about my marriage problems. They know about my job and money problems. No, we're not going out, no, we're not getting takeout, no, I don't want to celebrate. But I just brushed it all off.

This morning my husband looked tired, said he hadn't slept. We need to talk about where things are and how we each feel and what's going on. I'm sure I've made him feel guilty, which is never good. I just still hurt, and can't pretend that I don't. That we're not back on firm ground, that our marriage is deeply flawed, and I don't forgive him. That every day I don't feel resentment for how much he screwed up financially this past year.

I need to call some counselors.

In other news, I had a phone interview on the 6th, and heard yesterday they did want to in-person interview me, on September 16th. On Monday, I applied for a part time contract position, 20 hours/week, and on Wednesday evening got a reply that I was among the small pool of candidates they'd like to interview, on September 8th. And I still have 3 things out there - the outside my subject area position with my friend's company, they are pulling the Board together for interviews in September, and I'm still top candidate. Still no word on the prestigious funding job where I know a ton of staff and can't get any inside info, no one that I know really well knows anything, they say the higher ups are mum on what's going on. And in early July I applied for a deputy director position at a local non profit where I also know people, and nothing from them, either.

So, who knows. I'm still viable as a candidate, for another month, maybe. Best case scenario is everything has been held up with the summer and September will bring some resolution. I hope. Right now I'm really hopeful about the part-time contract. It might be the best with my schedule, and we could swing the nanny on a half time job.

This has been a stressful, stressful time. And I know money and job and self-confidence (or lack thereof) has had an impact on the marriage. I know it's all getting twined into a ball of misery and worry. I need something to break my way.

Whip It Up Week 5 - Peach-Blueberry Cobbler

Last weekend we went to a pick your own fruit orchard and came home with 20 pounds of peaches. Yum.

Sunday night I whipped together a fast cobbler, which I've never made before, and it meets the fresh produce theme of this week's challenge, so while it's a bit of a cheater (bisquick!), it definitely counts.

Peach Blueberry Cobbler

2-1/2 pounds peachs, peeled, cored, and sliced (or 2.5 pounds frozen peach slices, thawed)
1 pint blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon each fresh grated lemon zest and juice

Heat oven to 400. In bowl, combine peaches, blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and juice, pour into 11 X 7 baking dish coated with cooking spray.

For topping, combine 2 cups baking mix (bisquick) with 1/2 cup milk. Drop over fruit and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon sugar.

Bake til bubbly and topping is lightly browned and bicuit-y.

Was the recipe easy to follow?
Easy and fast. Peeling peaches is a pain, there's no denying it, but the payoff is worth it. And bisquick - what can I say? There's a "heart-healthy"or something version with no transfats, and it just makes life easier. It just does (waffles, pancakes, biscuits - in a flash). So take away my authentic cook label. I don't care. I can make homemade, but sometimes easy is, well, easy.

Did it taste good?
It did, though I think the zest made it too tart. You add lemon juice to peaches because they brown easily, and to cut the sweetness a bit. But still, it was a tad tarter than I wanted. We also didn't have vanilla ice cream or even cream, which might have countered the tart. I'd leave out the zest next time, I don't even think I did a full tablespoon. But it's proven to be a very nice breakfast option this week!

Kid friendly?
Oddly, she won't eat it. Dunno why. Totally rejected. Maybe too goopy.

Would I make it again?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Yesterday was a weepy day. At least 4 occasions of tears.

There's a post to come about my husband's terrible money management skills, taught to him by his awful, terrible, boy how I hate them parents, but that's for another day.

I realized yesterday that basically, this is a rough week. As much as I would dearly love to forget the date, today is the one year anniversary of the due date of my lost pregnancy. I can tell myself a million times due dates don't mean anything (my daughter? 7 days late), but it's still a milestone.

And my 9th wedding anniversary - you know, the day my husband stood up and promised to forsake all others - is the 7th.

Last year we drove home from our week-long beach vacation on this day. I thought it had been an absolutely glorious, nearly perfect vacation. A few months later my husband disabused me of that notion, explaining one of the nights he stayed up later than me he was planning his escape. He also told me he had intentionally wiped the due date from his mind, so that explains why on the ride home I was quiet and he was irritable - which we both chalked up to end of vacation blues, I guess.

I grew up in this teeny, tiny hometown of 3,000 people. My best friend is a guy I've known since kindergarten. He married a woman from New Zealand and lives there now, and last year vacationed at his parent's house, with his three girls, twins my daughter's age (then nearly 2) and a 3.5 year old. We spent 4 of the 7 days with them, and it was fabulous. I thought. One of my college friends and her husband, with whom we traveled to the New Zealand wedding in 2003, who currently lives 1000 miles away and has a daughter who was 4, and who had become friends with my hometown friend, came to visit for 2 days, too.

I found out my college friend was going to be able to visit about a week before the vacation. I called my husband at work and nearly cried from sheer joy - the thought of spending time with these two close friends and all our kids together, playing on the beaches and boardwalks of my youth. It was a moment of sheer, piercing joy. A joy I hadn't experienced in a long, long time, given the pregnancy loss 6 months before.

My husband and I rented a condo for the week and spent time plotting how we could buy an investment property at the beach. I came home with hundreds of pictures - mine and from my friends. Great pictures of 6 happy adults in the prime of their lives, with their happy, healthy 5 girls. I planned to actually print these out, put them in a memory book - a week well worth remembering and celebrating and reminiscing. I rode home from the beach in a bittersweet mood - realizing that had my lost baby been born, we never would have had this perfect vacation. I never did print out all the pictures, and a mere two months later discovered my husband's perfidy and duplicity.

I've written before that my husband stole my past, present, and future. This is how he stole the past. How do I view that vacation (our last for a long time) now? I can't view it as perfect and golden, because it wasn't. It is tainted. And my present? My anniversary on Thursday? Right now, it still makes me sick to my stomach to think of celebrating that day. Based on how easily he can discard his vows, it has no meaning to him, though he will suggest lunch out and a card. I'll get him a simple card and just sign it, and that's all I can manage for a long, long time. And my future? The jury's still out on that, isn't it? This summer has been hard, reliving last summer. The signs I missed, the lies he told. The fall will be tougher, amplified by all these lovely pregnancy hormones floating about. It's hard not to think I've made a Faustian bargain with the devil - relative security and help raising child(ren) now, for what? Further infidelity in two years? 5 years? 10 years? Divorce, or me putting up with a serial cheater to maintain a household for my child(ren)? Am I now one of those women who turns a blind eye to maintain what I have in life?

My college friend had her second child, a boy, in May. My New Zealand friend's wife is pregnant with their 4th, a boy, due in October. I'm pregnant with my second, a boy, due in November.

We're all casually kicking around travel to NZ in 2011, for the Rugby World cup. 6 happy adults, 5 girls, 3 boys. It could be a perfect, glorious, golden holiday. The kind you talk about in your old age. The pictures would be amazing. Will they tell the true story?

Monday, August 4, 2008

summer plans

My birthday is coming up in a few weeks. We traditionally vacation for a few days around my birthday, close to my hometown, by the beach. So yesterday my husband called around and found a cheap hotel room, $100/night, which is a great rate. We'd go three nights. Of course, we'd also need to do something with our dog, so that adds to our total. Then meals out, adds up fast. A $500 weekend, easy.

And the day before yesterday my husband asked if there should be presents. Well, it's my birthday, shouldn't there be presents? And it's my 40th birthday, too.

But, let's review. I have no job, no money coming in. We are still employing our nanny. Next month I have to dip into emergency savings to start covering expenses. There's a baby on the way in November.

On the other hand, we haven't had a vacation at all this summer. With my husband just having switched jobs in the spring, and the baby on the way, we want to maximize his time off for when the baby comes and the holidays. And now, the chance to spend three days away, no dog, no cat, no house, no distractions, just us having fun for three days is simply overwhelmingly tantalizing. I so want a small break, a pause, something different for just a little while.

I really, really want to go.

I want to cry just typing this out. The responsible, adult thing would be to cancel. We have until tomorrow to cancel the reservation. We could stay with one of my cousins, but that sort of defeats the whole purpose of getting away. We could stay one night with my cousin, and maybe that would be a good savings compromise. Camping is out, I'm too pregnant and too hot to enjoy that.

I really, really thought I'd have at least an inkling of a job by August 1. Still on hook for three jobs, with an interview this week. And 4 new possibilities for which to apply, but time is running out. On Friday I transferred money from savings to checking to cover August expenses, and it all just became real then. Since Friday, my anxiety over my joblessness and money worries has skyrocketed. Our car needs new brakes. Our ceiling is leaking. And I need a break.

Two years ago we took two vacations. And spent god knows how much money. A week in the Outer Banks with college friends of my husband. A week on Block Island for a friend of mine's wedding. Two refreshingly different beaches, two weeks of fun. Last year a weekly rental at the beach, too.

I'm convincing myself we need to cancel. And I'm becoming quite weepy about it. What would you do? What are your summer plans, in case I live vicariously through them?