Thursday, October 26, 2006

Our lucky day

It turns out that Jim and my lucky day just happens to be Friday the 13th. Lucky for me, him and all who know him, he was born on a Friday the 13th in 1973. And as recent events have unfolded, Friday the 13th turned out to be an exceptionally lucky day for us.

Let me explain:

On Friday, Oct. 13th, five days before he was to start as an executive chef for a retirement community in North Raleigh, Jim interviewed for a chef manager position at a corporate dining facility in Research Triangle Park. From there, things moved exceptionally quickly (especially considering it took more than two weeks for the North Raleigh job to come through.) On Saturday, the man he met Friday called to set up an interview with a few more people. On Monday, he interviewed with some higher ups. By the end of that meeting, they told him they wanted to offer him the job. On Tuesday, one day before he was to start his job in North Raleigh, they offered him the job. So now, he had two jobs. Boy, the quality of our "problems" just keeps getting better! He called the man he was to start work for the very next morning and declined the job.

Now, this is the job that he and I have been hoping and praying would come along for quite some time. Great hours, better pay, fantastic company (Aramark), little to no weekend work and when he leaves for the day, the kitchen is closed (read: NO PHONE CALLS TO COME IN AND COVER SHIFTS). The company is investing a lot of time and training in him before the account opens in mid to late November.

With the baby coming, this is a big relief for both of us. Not only is this a big pay raise and an excellent career move, the schedule and location is very compatible with family life. The hours are compatible with my work schedule so we don't have to pay for or worry about child care, and he will be working about 6 miles from home. He may even be able to ride his bike to work.

Another benefit of this turn of events? Jim got an unexpected and much needed week off from work. It was great to have him home. He spent a lot of time in the kitchen practice cooking and was able to put a bunch of meals in the freezer for when the baby comes. Ah, the benefits of being married to a chef! I love it!

I can't wait until the next Friday the 13th rolls around.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

It's a Daoust thing

The neat thing about having a spouse is that they often pick up on quirks that you didn't even know you had. For the past month, my younger brother, Timmy, has been living with us. So now, my husband has not one, but two Daousts to observe.

The other day Jim asked if anyone in my family ever actually sat in chairs after noticing that my brother and I often just dump our belongings onto the nearest chair. Other quirks? We both leave unfinished glasses of water all over the house and leave the kitchen cabinet doors open (despite both of us having cracked our heads repeatedly on these doors). Another weird thing? Most people enjoy reading a good book, the newspaper or a magazine. Timmy and I? We love to read cookbooks.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Don't say eclair around a pregnant woman

Last night, I had my first intense craving. I'm almost nine months pregnant and really haven't had any intense cravings, just some mild cravings for sushi and mexican food and cucumbers and cottage cheese and big salads and grilled cheese and tomato soup and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and then there was that night in Ocean City when I had to have a hamburger and almost had a meltdown in the restaurant when they didn't have hamburgers ... okay, well maybe I have had some cravings. But last night, for the first time, I went WAY out of my way to get exactly what I wanted.

Jim made the mistake of mentioning a really good eclair he had at a coffee shop in Durham. Bingo! So we stopped by this shop on our way to someplace else and they didn't have eclairs. Jim honestly thought we could go our merry way without fulfilling this quest. Rookie father-to-be mistake -- I'll cut him some slack. We drove to our intended destination and I remembered that Mad Hatter bakery was nearby and asked Jim to drive there. He didn't feel like it ... WHAT????? So I dropped him off and drove there myself.

I found large scrumptious eclairs at Mad Hatter bakery and probably the worst customer service I've EVER experienced. I let them know it, too. A little digression ... they had a customer comments box with a pen attached to it, but no paper anywhere in sight. Who do they think they're fooling? I found some paper and wrote them a sweet little note.

Moral of the story: Don't say eclair around a pregnant woman and expect her to drop it. She won't -- until she's downing a nice, big creamy, chocolaty eclair.

Right now, my husband, Chef Jim, is in the kitchen making a big batch of eclairs.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Pregnancy Surcharge

Tonight I went to the drugstore in search of some cocoa butter lotion for my stretched out, itchy, burning tummy. I found the assortment of cocoa butter lotions ... on the bottom shelf. Hello?? Pregnant lady here ... if I have to bend or squat it's not so easy getting back up these days. Could they make this any more annoying?

As a matter of fact, they could and did. Cocoa butter lotion specifically for stretch marks on pregnant bellies cost $5.99 and cocoa butter wasn't even a main ingredient. The third ingredient was cocoa butter seed extract. So I searched around a bit more and found a $.99 4 oz. tub of cocoa butter lotion that actually had cocoa butter as the second ingredient.

The other product I've been searching for is some sort of suspender or belly belt to help keep my pants from falling off my non-existent waist. At the maternity store they wanted to sell me a belly belt that looks like a tube top for $22. Yeah, right ... why not just get some sock suspenders and attach them to the top of my pants and the bottom of my bra? In fact, there is a product that will do this ( and costs $13 for a pair. This is basically just suspender clips - available at any fabric store for $1.50 a pair - plus some 3/4" elastic. Any idiot can put these together for less than half what this Belly Up company is charging.

Any product with the word pregnancy slapped on it seems to be subject to a surcharge.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Why didn't anyone tell me ...

... that when pregnant:

  • I'd get at least a quarter of my exercise running to and from the bathroom because my son is now doing a headstand on my bladder.

  • I'd get at least another quarter of my exercise pulling up my pants because my waist and my hips are the same width.

  • It would feel better to exercise than not.

  • My entire pelvis would be so sore some days that it would feel like I'd been riding a horse all day long.

  • My belly would feel bruised from the baby kicking me.

  • I would spend at least an hour total each day just watching my belly move.

And can someone please reassure me that my esophagus is NOT going to burst into flames one of these days?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

It's not Harry Potter's fault

A mother of four from the Atlanta area is asking the Georgia Board of Education to ban the Harry Potter series because it promotes evil and fosters a culture where school shootings happen. Her solution?

Students should instead read the Bible.

Now, besides the obvious separation of church and state issue here, another obvious question arises. How much violence has been associated with the religions since the dawn of mankind? And is it not such closed-mindedness displayed by this woman that is at the root of much of the violence and ignorance we see today and have seen for centuries?

A few illustrations (recent and historic):

  • 19 hijackers claiming allegiance to Allah and Islam crash into buildings to punish people for not worshipping their way.

  • Members of Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas protest at the funerals of Iraq war soldiers to show that God is punishing America for homosexuality.

  • Eric Rudolph bombs abortion clinics killing doctors, nurses and others because God is against the killing of unborn children.

  • The Catholic church tortures non-believers during the Spanish Inquisition. (As Jon Stewart so eloquently noted in a recent broadcast "The Catholic church regrets that so many non-believers were so flammable.")

  • The Crusades kill millions in an effort to spread the love of Christ. And Islam is no better -- their holy book advocates spreading their beliefs by the sword.

Could it be that the current wave of violence is provoked not by Harry Potter or any other "secular" missives but by the close-mindedness of religions worldwide that seek to force their particular brand of "goodness" on the world?