Tuesday, November 13, 2007

the joy of ... cooking?

Yesterday was Charlie's birthday.

My gift to him was a cooking class. But it's not just any cooking class. It's a cooking class that the two of us will attend, together. This is monumental for several reasons.

I'll be the first and last (after everyone in between has toppled over from food poisoning) to admit that I'm not a good cook. My husband, however, is a wonderful cook. Anything that he puts in the oven or on the barbecue will come out incredible. Whenever we go out to eat, I'll always tell him "You could have made this and it would have tasted ten times better."

And I'm not just saying that so he'll keep cooking and I won't have to. It's the honest truth.

Watching him take a bunch of things, groceries if you will, and transform them in to a delicious and visibly appealing meal - is quite a sight to behold. Charlie just gets the art of cooking. He loves cook books. He loves cooking supplies. He loves cooking stores.

The guy loves to cook.

I love to eat.

We're a wonderful match.

When left home alone for the evening, Charlie will grill tri tip and red pepper brochettes and serve it with dill yogurt sauce and garlic flat bread. When left home alone for the evening, I will hope that there are some of Charlie's leftovers ... or ... I'll snack on a bag of granola and top if off with a quart of Ben & Jerry's.

Several months ago, the culinary store near our home announced that they were offering cooking classes. I watched Charlie flip through the brochure with wide eyes and excitement, like a child would look through a toy catalogue. He flagged the pages of interest with a Post-It note and highlighted all the classes that he would enjoy taking. And then, he left the brochure on top of my day planner.

Because that's how my 41-year old husband operates.

I'm sure that Charlie knew the likelihood of taking one of those classes at any point in the near future, was probably slim to none. Since I'm still on maternity leave, I'm home all day with the children while he is at the office and when he rolls in at the end of the day, I'm gasping for breath and asking what he's planning to cook for dinner. Or, requesting that he salvage the mess that I've created in the pan on the stove - that doesn't look nearly like the pictures.

But for his birthday, I surprised him.

Not only does he get to take a cooking class, he gets to bring me - his culinary challenged wife - along with him. I suspect it will be kind of like a coloring book illustrator going to a conference on astrophysics. Or, a person whose gaming skills don't exceed Candy Land participating in a Scrabble Championship ... where they'll be serving pomegranate balsamic pot roast with cremini mushrooms and cipollini onions. Whatever those are.

So, between now and December 14, we need to find a babysitter.

Over the past three years, we've had a few date nights ... but we've never left the children at home with someone who wasn't directly related to us. I'm a little (oh, who am I kidding?) nervous about leaving our offspring at home with a person we have to pay to be here, but I figure a month is enough time to find someone responsible. Actually, we'll probably have two babysitters, because I think that feeding the children dinner, getting them ready for bed, and putting them down for the night might be too much for one person to handle alone.

Especially since we're planning to leave Henry. And a bottle.

I think that four weeks should provide us adequate time to find babysitters ... complete blood screens, urine tests, background checks, run their fingerprints and call all of their references. It should also be enough time to convince our 4-month old son that taking a bottle of expressed breast milk isn't nearly as bad as what he might be subjected to once his teeth grow in.

Provided his mama doesn't hurry up and learn how to operate a stove.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Oh my look at his fingers! How adorable. I don't comment, but I do love reading your blog frequently. And that Henry sure is a cuite! Make sure you put some breast milk on the nipple so it tastes less like plastic. And it always helps if mommy is not in the room when he's getting the bottle.

  3. Henry looks adorable, and he is smart to refuse that bottle. The real thing is so much better! LOL! The Boy took FOREVER to take a bottle, and I recently introduced the Natural Nurser, which he took immediately. Had I known he would do that, I would have started with that bottle! LOL! good luck, and you can never be too careful with babysitters.

  4. When is the class? If you can wait until April, I am your gal. If not, call the church you attend and ask the Minister to help since he caused all this.(Only kidding, ask for help from the church)

  5. Henry looks like "What the heck is this--you have got to be nuts Mom.

  6. A cooking class sounds so fun!! And a night away from all the kids - wow!

    Your mom is right, your church probably has a babysitting list. But there is also probably a babysitting service in your area that would have people who have already had extensive background/criminal/reference checks. Just a thought...

  7. Kathy from NJ11/13/07, 8:55 PM

    How about the people who manage the nursery at church? My sister-in-laws grandchildren are taken care of by one of their pre-school teachers. They've even taken her on week-ends away.

  8. Shayna and I will come down and hang out with the kids! You guys can then cook us dinner, which you've learned all about in class, the next night. Call me, I'm serious!

  9. one idea is to find an older teenager (17-18) or college student that has a younger sister to help out (or a couple of high school students). you'll probably save some money that way and that way you don't have to do 2 background checks, U/A's, fingerprints and the like. When i used to sit a lot i had people ask me to bring my sister along if there were extra kids on a particular job or to find a trusted, experienced sitter/friend who'd be available.

  10. What a fun class! I wish they had something like that around here.

    My daughter also wanted nothing to do with the bottle... she just wanted milk from the tap! Anyway, we finally got her to take the Playtex ventaire bottle with the brown nipple. The nipple is much softer than other ones.

    Anyway, hope you have luck finding a babysitter!

  11. happy birthday, charlie.

    a cooking class sounds awesome. perhaps that would help my kitchen-impairedness too.

  12. Oh someone does not like the baba! He has such a look of "what the ...." on his face. I love it! So funny!! Try the silicone nipples my daughter who is hooked on the boob, and has been for a long time, only liked those ones when we first tried the pump and baba thing! Great gift by the way! Did the kids let daddy blow out his own candle? We all know how much they like "Happy Birthday"!

  13. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your website. I look forward to reading everyday. I love how honest you are about the good and bad. You seem like a great Mom who adores her children. They are blessed to have parents who love them so much. Enjoy your cooking class!

  14. That picture is priceless. Total revulsion and my parents are trying to kill me all wrapped up in one little picture.

  15. That is the funniest picture yet! Your little Henry is going to be quite the character. I love it!

    Happy Birthday Charlie! I think you guys totally deserve some fun grown-up time together. Plus, I can't wait to read about you finding a babysitter and what the children do to the babysitter. This is like a cliff-hanger now!

  16. Ho w fun - a cooking class TOGETHER! Of course, anything together can be fun. I'm jealous.

    Enjoy your blog - delurking to say hello, from one triplet mommy to another.


  17. some thoughts about babysitters: we have a 5 yr. old and 4yr. old trips. my husband teaches at a seminary so we have had stellar babysitters over the past 4 years . they have typically come as a husband/wife team on average at least 25 yrs. old. managing 4 very small children is quite a job as you know and i have found that the needs of the older child were met by one spouse the needs of the younger were met by the other or they divided and conquered the evening by caring each for two of the children. this is a way my husband and i have also found works well for us to do as well. also, i have a new babysitting couple come and shadow me one evening before they ever babysit. my children then have a chance to meet them and enjoy their company without the stress of my impending departure, they seem to get more comfortable with new people as they see my husband and i enjoying their company, and there is less to explain on your detailed list of instructions right before you and charlie leave for the night when you actually go out.