Archive | August, 2010

Help! Decision making…

26 Aug

I’m finding it impossible to make a decision about this diaper bag thing.  I’ve found several that I like, all around the same price point (I found some great deals online!), but I just can’t seem to decide.  So, here is your chance… you can help me.

Option 1:


Option 2:

Option 3:

Seriously, leave me a comment about what you like best.  Or if you have experience with any of these bags or brands, let me know – ’cause I know nothing!

You Should Watch This…

18 Aug

Back before I was pregnant, I found this blog, Pacing the Panic Room, via some other blog (I cannot remember which).  What drew my attention was the maternity series this dad was doing with his wife as her belly grew.  They took a photo every week, and wrote a little note to their growing baby girl.  I loved the idea, and told Joel that we would have to do the same thing whenever we decided to have kids.

Well, fast forward a little bit, and we were pregnant.  I had grand intentions of having Joel take a picture of me every week to document the way my belly and our baby girl grew.  There’s no real good reason why it didn’t happen.  Except that I often have big plans, and they don’t always come to fruition… especially when they are for me.  If I promise something to other people, I usually follow through, but for some reason, I can’t do the same for myself.  All you therapists out there can tell me what that’s about.

Anyway, today he posted the final post of the series which is a stop-motion video of the whole process of making the series.  Check it out!

And if you like it, you should go back and look at the whole series.

Or this other maternity series he did for some of their other friends.

I think it’s a really fun and creative way to document pregnancy.  And these ladies are seriously beautiful pregnant people.  It might be easier if Joel had been the photographer instead of me.  I can only do so much to get a photo of my own belly…. 🙂

Things I Miss

16 Aug

I’m not gonna lie. This week I am 35 weeks pregnant.  And today I am feeling every bit of it.

There are a lot of things that I miss as a pregnant woman – things I’m looking forward to being able to do, eat, wear, and drink again.  This has been a tough week for me.  I’ve just generally not been feeling well.  Tired.  Tired of being pregnant.  Tired of heartburn like you wouldn’t believe (though pepcid has been a big help in that area, it’s still not quite right).  Tired of being sore. But that’s enough complaining from me.  I decided that instead, I would make a list of things that I’m looking forward to after baby girl makes her appearance.  I can’t wait to:

  1. Wear pants with working zippers again (I am slightly afraid that I will forget that my non-preggo pants actually have zippers and that I will walk around with my fly open for days on end, because I am used to just the elastic kind.  Oh dear.  Is this where mom-pants come from?)
  2. See my feet
  3. Bend at the waist
  4. Eat more than 5 bites of food at once
  5. Eat sushi – Oh, sushi.  I have missed you greatly.  I may request that you join me for dinner shortly after baby girl makes her appearance.
  6. And goat cheese, brie, and blue cheese
  7. Eat a regular, cold sandwich without taking 20 minutes or having to heat up the lunchmeat
  8. Lay down to sleep (I did get a taste of this and it was heavenly…it is amazing what a difference a good night’s sleep can make.  But then I got over-confident because the heartburn was gone and tonight I ate too much… and if I lay down I feel like I will see it all again. Oh dear. That’s lovely. Lesson learned. Back to 5 bites for dinner.)
  9. Drink a margarita or a glass of wine.
  10. Drink water (or anything) without getting heartburn. Yes.
  11. Work out (I have mixed emotions about this.  I was doing CrossFit before we found out I was pregnant, and a little afterwards too.  It’s a tough workout, but it felt great to be making some progress and the conditioning seemed to be helping my asthma.  Maybe that’s in my head.  Either way, I feel like I’ll be starting all over.  Oh wait.  I will be.  8 months of doing nothing significant… I miss it.  But I am scared. Scrrrrrrrrrrrd.)
  12. Take a full breath – It’s the little things, people.
  13. Brush my teeth without wanting to throw up (this is really weird, but all toothpaste has that effect on me)
  14. Being able to squeeze through small spaces by turning sideways.  This hasn’t worked for me for quite a while now.  Yet, I still try.  It’s like un-doing 28 years of habit.

I wish I could say I was one of those people who just LOVES being pregnant.  That would be a lie.  I don’t love it.  I am sure that I will love the result.  A little baby girl that is beautiful and perfect and precious.  I do think it’s a complete miracle.  A little heartbeat.  Kicks in the ribs.  Tiny little hands and feet all perfectly formed.  I don’t know how you could not see God in that.  Even in the rib kicks.  But the process, I do not love.  Just keeping it real.

I will say that being pregnant does have its perks.  There’s kind of an instant camaraderie with anyone who is pregnant, or even moms that have been there before. They all know what it’s like.  I can get my husband to take me to get snow cones.  Even when he doesn’t even want one.  He’s good like that.

On a side note, Joel started law school today.  Oh yes.  Well, orientation anyway.  Friday is the first day of real class.  They’re letting him ease into it.  Kind of them, no?  And so now the story truly begins… Here we go….

I’m looking for…

14 Aug

a great diaper bag. I want something that is big enough for me to put all the necessary baby items in, as well as my personal items so I can use it as a purse and not have to carry 2 bags around. Preferably something that does not look like a diaper bag… Any suggestions?

Soft Pretzels – recipe and results

12 Aug

So I saw this recipe yesterday on Joy the Baker’s blog.  It sounded so good that I just had to try it.  I am a bit of a carb addict, and right now they’re really the only part of the food pyramid that really appeals to me.  I know, that’s bad.  But so true.

So, to get my fix, I headed to the store to find the last couple ingredients that I needed.  Here’s the recipe as it was – I’ll put my notes and changes in another color so you have the original and what I learned through the process.

This could be a really fun thing to do with kids I think.  Let them roll the snakes of dough and sprinkle the salt… or whatever they are capable of.  It was definitely fun!  And YUMMY!

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon sugar
1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
3 3/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pretzel salt or grill seasoning
1 heaping Tablespoon baking soda (add it to the boiling water just before throwing in the pretzel dough!)

Stir together sugar, yeast, and 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (105 to 110°F) in a measuring cup, then let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
Whisk together 3 1/2 cups flour and 1 tablespoon table salt in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough. Dust work surface with 1 tablespoon flour, then turn out dough and knead, gradually dusting with just enough additional flour to make a smooth sticky dough, about 8 minutes. (Dough needs to be somewhat sticky to facilitate rolling and forming into pretzels).

Return dough to bowl and cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, then let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Turn out dough onto a clean work surface and cut into 8 equal pieces. I found that I needed to flour the work surface for this too.
Using your palms, roll 1 piece back and forth on a clean dry work surface into a rope about 24 inches long. I just rolled it in the air between my hands – I found it a bit easier.  Definitely flour your hands.
If dough sticks to your hands, lightly dust them with flour. Twist dough into a pretzel shape. (Dough will retract as you form the pretzel.)

Preheat oven to 425  I found the temp and cooking time might need to come down – I’d try 400 degrees next time.
Transfer pretzel with your hands to an oiled baking sheet and form 7 more pretzels in same manner with remaining dough, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart.
Let pretzels stand, uncovered, about 20 minutes.

Bring a wide 6-quart pot of water to a boil.
Once boiling, add heaping tablespoon of baking soda.  The baking soda will help the pretzels brown.  It will also kind of foam up quickly, so just watch out for your arms and hands.  You might get splashed with hot water… like me. Ouch.
Using both hands, carefully add 2 (maybe 3)  pretzels, 1 at a time, to boiling water and cook, turning over once with tongs, until pretzels are puffed and shape is set, about 3 minutes.
Transfer parboiled pretzels to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining 5 pretzels in 2 batches.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and oil paper, then arrange pretzels on sheet.
Brush pretzels lightly with some of egg and sprinkle with pretzel salt.

Bake until golden brown and lightly crusted, about 35 minutes. Keep an eye on this – I only baked for about 25 minutes at 425 degrees, I think at 400 degrees, you might be able to go the full 35 minutes
Cool 15 minutes, then serve warm.

Also, I had trouble finding specifically “pretzel salt” – so I ended up using coarse Kosher salt.  It was pretty close – not exactly like the giant pieces of white salt you get on store pretzels, but close.  Definitely a better choice than regular table salt.

I need to blog…

10 Aug

…but I don’t want to complain. And that’s about all I want to do right now.

So I will leave you with this instead.  The first attempt at freezer-paper stenciling of onesies.  It is super easy and fun and you can do any design.  I will post a tutorial soon with pictures and everything.

A Cool Summer Treat (or use that extra watermelon)

9 Aug

My parents came up last weekend for a baby shower, which was awesome. While all the ladies (me, my sister Rachel, my mom, and my grammy) all enjoyed the fun at the shower, my dad painted the guest/baby bathroom. Valiant of him, no?

Well, confession time… we didn’t come straight home from the shower. We passed the farmer’s market, and my mom had this look on her face that said “oh! the farmer’s market! please someone else say that they want to go to the farmer’s market! i want peaches and tomatoes and blueberries and squash and zucchini! i want to go to the farmer’s market!”

So naturally, I said, “Hey, anyone want to go to the farmer’s market?”

And so we did. And in addition to the peaches, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, etc., we also came home with a large watermelon.

And then my family left (after some car drama – transmission died in the driveway. awesome.), leaving behind a giant watermelon in my kitchen. So I started looking for recipes for watermelon things, because as I am the only one who eats fruit in this house (hoping that baby girl will change that eventually), I could not possibly down an entire watermelon myself. And I found this. It looked heavenly, considering my current and constant desire for all things frozen and fruity and just generally cold, so I tried it.

Watermelon Cooler Slushy
Ingredients

* 4 cups cubed seedless watermelon
* 10 ice cubes
* 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
* 1/4 cup white sugar
* 1/8 teaspoon salt

Seriously, the easiest thing ever. Just stick it all in the blender and blend it up. And it’s amazing. It definitely makes enough for at least 2 slushies, so make sure you have something to do with the rest. I had to toss mine, because it didn’t look like it would keep well as a slushy.

If you are a genius, like my friend Heather though, you would think to put it into a popsicle machine or molds or an ice tray and freeze it to eat later… or even just to cool off a fun fruity drink.

Also, if you’re not pregnant and can enjoy adult beverages without feeling guilty about it, you could add in something like citrus vodka or ooh even vanilla vodka and enjoy it at a great hot summer day’s cookout or something. Yum.

So anyway, you should just try it. I promise it’s delicious!

The cutest thing…

3 Aug

I was perusing my Google Reader today, feeling completely overwhelmed with the number of unread posts.  But, as often happens, I found something really cute!  This adorable little t-shirt was found on say YES! to hoboken.  I love it!  She gives a full tutorial for how to use any design you like, cut it out of printer paper, and stencil it onto a shirt.  I may have to use this idea and decorate some plain white onesies for the little one….

Oh the possibilities….

Weekend Update

1 Aug

This is just a quick one for you – it’s been a productive weekend!  We accomplished the following:

  • Had a lovely baby shower (thanks Diana, Emily, and Elizabeth!)
  • Joel was so excited about all the stuff that it actually got unpacked, sorted, and put away the same day
  • Dad repainted the guest/baby bathroom for us – it’s a lovely creamy yellow color
  • We hung our new polka dot and whale shower curtain
  • Rachel painted the shelf my dad made for us
  • Said shelf was hung on the wall
  • Curtains were finished, curtain rod put on wall, and curtains hung (!)
  • Artwork (most of it) was hung on the wall of the nursery
  • Streetside shrubs demolished (some would call it pruned, but I think it went beyond that)

Now for the rest of the week:

  • Clean out guest/baby bathroom cabinets and drawers
  • Tame the rest of the yard (mow, trim the rest of the shrubs, mulch)
  • Finish up artwork
  • Write thank you notes
  • Paint animals for top of shelf
  • Laundry
  • Shoot a wedding Saturday
  • And so much more!

I just realized today that several of my friends have delivered their babies at 37 weeks… which would be about 4 weeks from now… insanity.  It has kicked me into high gear.  Would be great if the weather would stay cool so I can do all the things I want to do…