I blinked and it’s been five months of this adventure called “writing a cookbook.” How! Before all this began I wasn’t sure how shooting and writing a book with a new babe would go. The answer is, as it turns out, a lot of running around during morning naptime, a lot of truly spectacular messes, and a lot of trudging around during afternoon naptime, cleaning up those spectacular messes. I would not recommend it if you are looking for something relaxing, exactly — but maybe if, you know, you’re looking for an at-home HIIT workout that involves bites of food and a constant mental refrain of I’ll clean that up later.
Hello, all! This is Bowl Number 2/B2/Andy subbing in for Cynthia this week. I’m stepping out from my usual role on the blog, i.e. part-time hand model and taste tester, to pitch in a quick guest post. Between Cynthia’s work as a lawyer, blogger, cookbooker, wife, and mommy, she doesn’t get a lot of time off, so I figured I’d give her time to sneak in a nap this week. So here we go!
100 days! Last week was Luke’s 100th day in this big wide world of ours. He was baptized at the church down the street, and after the baptism we had a teeny 100th day party, or a baek-il. His halmuni made Luke a miniature tteok-themed lei and a baby-crown out of silver posterboard, which has nothing to do with Korean tradition but everything to do with making a baby look hilariously awesome. Especially when his dad had one too. We had tteok coated in red bean powder to chase away evil spirits and a white cake for purity and long life. (This is normally a snowy-white rice cake called baekseolgi-tteok, but, as it turns out, if a recipe calls for “frozen rice flour” you cannot, as I so cleverly suggested, simply add more water to regular rice flour. So for us it was a regular ol’ white cake with vanilla frosting.)
So I was a little hesitant to share this post. I had so many emotions over the fact that Luke was born by C-section, but didn’t want to write anything negative about it, because we don’t want to forget for a second how fortunate we are to have had our little man, however he arrived. Still, in the weeks leading up to Luke’s arrival, I found other mamas’ accounts of their breech babies and C-sections so very comforting and wanted to know so much about their experiences that I thought it would still be worth sharing my thoughts — if even just for me to look back on someday. So here goes!
Luke Samuel McTernan, also known as B3, was born 6 pounds and 3 ounces. Because he was breech until he arrived, we didn’t get a good look at his face on any ultrasounds, but as it turns out, he has bright, dark eyes that look both perplexed and amazed most of the time, a little upturned nose, a bow mouth. His long, black hair, which we did see waving back and forth on the ultrasound, now forms funny sideburns and sticks out at tufty angles; his head smells like vanilla and warm cookies, the best, most addictive remedy for any baby blues. He likes to punch his fist into the air in his sleep in what looks like his best tribute to Bender in The Breakfast Club, a gesture I recognize from when a small knob used to protrude on the left side of my belly a few times a day. He has the pillowiest, most ponderous cheeks — the first thing I touched when I held him for the first time. In short, we are in love with him.
One of the things I like most about this little space is how easy it’s always been to come here and tell you (or, at the very least, future me) about all the things that have been happening in the world of the two red bowls, even if most weeks it’s literally nothing but the same old, same old, plus a recipe for cake.
So it was really and truly weird earlier this year to try to continue writing here when we’d discovered a little something that I couldn’t quite share yet on the blog, but was all Bowl #2 and I could talk about. It translated, as maybe you were bored into noticing, into a solid month of talking about the weather in every post (after which B2 told me please not to write about the weather) or writing some things about foods that were delicious at first but always unappealing to me by the time I posted it on the blog.
But now I can finally share what you might have already guessed — we’re having a baby! And we are over the moon. I am sorry for the weather one-note that I have been for the last four months. The good and bad news is that now I will be a one-note about this wee boy in my belly who’s heading into the world in November and so far, making me look like I have constantly had way, way too much pizza.
What they say is absolutely true – it goes by so, so fast. Our wedding week feels like a series of barely-focused snapshots, a string of moments that wink like fairy lights: B2’s parents’ living room in the 6am blush of a quiet Honolulu morning, ironing the iridescent folds of a hanbok for our paebaek ceremony. Hearing my bridesmaids before I saw them as they pulled into the parking lot on their first morning in Hawaii, whooping with their hands stretched out their rolled-down windows. The liquid billows of the most beautiful dress I’ve ever worn. The look on my dad’s face just before our processional, his eyes tinged red at the edges. My brother pressing a glue dot to an Instax mini for our guestbook. B2’s mother, singing along to their mother-son dance with tears streaming down her beaming face.