a bottle of wine and an impulse buy


heading home from work one friday night back in febraury, i stopped off to pick a bottle of wine to go with our customary end-of-week pizza. incidentally, i also picked up a pregnancy test that night. 

vino and a pregnancy test: a winning combination. 

i hurried home with my impulse purchase and the excited anticipation of what it might reveal. our timing was on point though and andy pulled in right at the same time with august in the seat next to him. i raced them both to the door shouting over my shoulder that i was in a rush to use the bathroom. once inside, i frantically tore at the packaging, all the while keeping one ear at the door and the isolated conversation between andy and august on the other side of it. time slowly passed as i listened to august's curiosity on my whereabouts interrupted by exclamations of discovery over some found toy he had abandoned in the middle of the room earlier that morning. when three minutes were finally up, i looked at the test to find one bold line and another line - less obvious, but undeniably present - parallel to it. 

i walked out of the bathroom barely able to contain myself. andy was around the corner in the kitchen and august was squatting over his buzz lightyear doll in the living room when he spotted me and through a wide smile gushed, "maamaaaa!" i beckoned him to come over, showing him the test stick to encourage his curiosity. when he finally ambled his way over i handed him the stick and whispered in his ear for him to take it to andy. a little confused, he slowly made his way in the direction of the kitchen while i watched and my heart pounded in my chest. i repeated my instructions again out load and said "give that to dada". upon hearing that, andy came around the corner to find august with something in his hand, but he couldn't tell what. before anything could register, he looked up at me for clarification and i think it was the huge smile on my face that made him realize what it was in august's hand. his eyes went big and started to glisten, then both of us - without words - just embraced. august came between our legs and wrapped his arms around both. we laughed and looked down at our little boy and my small belly that held our tiny second within. 

we didn't drink the wine that night; for the last six months its sat on a shelf in the kitchen with a note wrapped around it. in five weeks (give or take (hopefully "take")), it will be opened in celebration of our new arrival, making that bottle of table wine the finest i will have ever tasted. 

yesterday evening


the park was curiously empty yesterday evening, considering it was the most perfect, non-humid summer night any july has ever produced. not to question the opportunity of having the whole playground almost entirely ourselves though, we continued on and called it a freebie. there was only one other family there - a new family with a six month old baby girl, i later learned. august spotted her from across the soccer field before we even got to the playground. "mama, baby!" he pointed out. when the stroller finally came to a stop, he scrambled out of his seat, keeping his eyes glued on the little girl, all the while repeating his observation. he climbed over the little retaining wall onto the mulched court and headed right towards the family, completely disregarding all the springing/sliding/swinging equipment that he had been so worked up about on the walk over. his shyness finally caught up with his fascination when he reached the zip line and there he stopped, hugging/hiding behind the pole, but still watching the girl. i walked up next to him and placed my hand on his head as he said it again, more timidly this time "mama, baby" and then he added "cute". my heart about had it at that moment because yes, that baby *was* very cute, but hearing it from a toddler not a year and a half older, may have been cuter.

the peaches are in!


"it's already getting hot out there" he said, as we shuffled into the kitchen. he stood at the table fixing his breakfast, already having finished his run, showered, and dressed before we had even conceded to the call of daylight. "i just did an easy eight because i didn't want to push it in this heat", he continued with the proud air of failed humility. eight MILES, i'd correct him in my head. why does he always leave the "miles" out, like the rest of the world knows what he's talking about. barely conscious, grouchy, and a teen, i was annoyed with my dad and his unflagging pep. he ceremoniously went on with his preparation though, oblivious to (or more likely, ignoring) my bad attitude. he loaded his bowl beyond the brim with cereal and then carefully topped it with fresh fruit. there's no way he's going to fit the milk in this time, i maliciously thought and watched incredulously as he put his hand on top of the heap, slowly poured the milk, and then carefully removed it without any spillage. my dad, defying archimedes and the law of displacement before 9am. 

summer was a bountiful time at our house growing up. there were tart cherries in june, raspberries and blackberries in july, and as the final send off to the season, blueberries. that was only the beginning though because once my dad had a taste for fresh fruit from the garden, he wanted more. so he built an orchard in the back and lined it with rows of peach, pear, and apple trees. i remember how proud he was of those little saplings when they arrived, hopeful of the bushels of fruit they would one day bear. it seemed like a frivolous pursuit at the time since it was just him and my mom at the house. it takes years for fruit trees to mature. i think he only got to enjoy one yield before his passing, but who was i to ever criticize a man who loved his fresh fruit.

my mom called last week, excited to tell me that the peaches were in and producing almost daily by the bucketful, so we made plans for a visit on the weekend. august happily picked peach after peach and before long our bucket had reached maximum capacity. as we walked back to the house with our heavy load i thought all the things i could make with the peaches. cobbler, of course and i could probably find an easy ice cream recipe. preserves are a no-brainer. maybe muffins of some kind too? and that's when i remembered my dad's go-to cereal topping. i laugh at the memory of his breakfast ritual now and my heart swells with every detail of his idiosyncrasies. if he were alive, i'd join him for his early morning run and afterward, we'd each fix a giant bowls of fruit-topped cereal, but for now, i bake pecan peach bread. 
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pureed peaches 
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

preheat oven to 350. combine butter, sugar, eggs, and peaches in mixer; add cinnamon, soda, and salt. mix until combined, then add flour. pour into greased loaf pan and sprinkle the top with some raw sugar. bake for 25 minutes and set to cool. best enjoyed the next day, along with a cold brew and the little owner of two chubby hands and the sweetest voice that asks for "uno mas paaaaan?"



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