You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2012.

Weeks: 33.5  – 46 days to go.

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Wearing: Anything that stretches. A lot. My disdain for each piece of maternity clothing is growing more and more as I’m down to only a handful that I can squeeze into without flashing random slices of skin. I will probably live in this black maxi dress the remaining weeks, despite the fact it does nothing for my arms. It’s the closest I can get to wearing nothing, though, so it wins. Also, I’m pretty sure I had a VPL situation going on here. I tried my best to avoid it, but if you think I’m putting on a thong right now, you are damn crazy.

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Physically: Oh, guys. I’ve done nothing but complain this week. Everyone is entitled to at least one REALLY whiny pregnancy week, right? (Just humor me here.) Overall, I do feel good. At my last weigh-in I had gained 26 pounds, which is a little bit less than I had around this point last time, but my top half has finally succumbed to the weight gain and has surrendered. That above picture is actually doing a good job at hiding the double chin and marshmallow arms. It’s where I always gain weight so I guess I’ve accepted it as much as I can. It’s still…fluffy, though. Blech.

The biggest challenge has been my left foot, which remains swollen while the right doesn’t. I had it checked out by a podiatrist to rule out any infection from when I had the plantars wart removed, and he thinks the pain and swelling are caused by me walking funny to avoid the pain of the wart, and therefor causing the bone on top of the foot to press into and bruise the tendon. There’s not too much I can do about it except keep an eye on it and ice it every so often, but it’s the source of my irritation lately. I’m just so aware of it all the time and it constantly is uncomfortable. I couldn’t enjoy my yoga class last night — something I look forward to all week — because almost every pose caused my foot to hurt. Again, blech.

Finally, this weather. OH MY GOODNESS. Summer came on with a bang and dumped heat and humidity on our little state. I love summer, I do, but I guess I blocked out how disgusting it makes pregnant me. I had lunch with a friend yesterday and felt like I had to apologize for basically sweating all over the place. Attractive it is not. It adds to the swelling, too. I told Michael that if we go on to have a third baby, I think I’d like to plan on being mega-pregnant in the winter. Apparently I like to torture myself by having summer babies.

Emotions:Ok! Enough complaining! Really! Emotionally, I’m feeling good. I still have bittersweet moments when I think about Owen’s world changing, but I’m coming around to seeing all the good things about that and not focusing on the fact that the original baby is growing up. He’s been such an amazingly wonderful kid lately, that watching him grow has been awesome. What keeps me awake is worrying about silly things, like who will be available if my labor is going quickly and I can’t get in touch with my mother-in-law to watch Owen. I guess that’s not silly, but it’s silly to worry about it at night.

Emotions surrounding the baby are mostly excitement. I cannot wait to meet this boy! Six weeks seems so long when I’m feeling this ready. I think part of it is I’m not nervous about labor and birth this time around, I just want to do it and have him here. Owen was born on a full moon and there’s a full moon on July 3rd. That’s 12 days before my due date, but if the moon wants to help us out again, I’d be totally fine with that.

 

Preparations: Baby will eventually be in Owen’s current room, so other than obtaining some art for the walls and raising the crib mattress again, there’s not a whole lot that needs to be done in there. This weekend we bought furniture for Owen’s new room, so he will move next week! (pics to come when the room is done.) Once he’s settled, I will get busy washing all the baby cloths and swaddling blankets and get that all set up. Around the 36-week mark I will pack my bag just in case and start setting up the baby stuff (swing, bouncy, bassinet) so Owen can get used to them being around. And then…we wait.

Name: I think we’re pretty close on a name. I hope. I really do.

Cheesecake. Yum. Am I right? So simple, yet so good.

I’ve been on a bit of a lemon-blueberry kick lately. The flavors just go so well together and are bright and summery, even if summer isn’t quite here yet. (Close, though! So close!)

We had dinner at my mother-in-law’s on Mother’s Day, and I figured I should bring a dish. She tends to make enough dinner to feed an army, so I wasn’t even going to bother in that department. Dessert, friends. That’s where it’s at. If you’re looking for something delish, simple and impressive without having to try too hard, these bars will do the trick.

 

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These came out really good and were even better after sitting overnight in the fridge. The only thing I did differently than the original recipe was to line the pan with foil rather than parchment paper, because I didn’t have any! Worked just as well. Interestingly, the blueberries took on an odd blue-gray color after being baked, but seemed to revert back to their original splendor later on. I can’t explain that one!

 

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
From Epicurean Mom

Ingredients

For Base:
Butter, for greasing
2 tablespoon sugar
1/8 tablespoon ground cinnamon
9 graham crackers
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 eggs
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Directions

For the Base:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Grease the bottom of a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with butter.  Then place parchment paper over the top, pressing down at the corners.  In a food processor, process the sugar, cinnamon and graham crackers until you have the consistency of breadcrumbs.  Add the melted butter and pulse a couple of times to fully incorporate.  Pour into the lined baking pan and firmly pat down with the bottom of a glass.  Bake for about 12 minutes, or until set.

For the filling:
Add cream cheese, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar to the food processor and pulse until well combined.  It should have a smooth consistency.  Pour onto the cooked graham cracker base and then sprinkle with blueberries.  They will sink slightly but should be half exposed.

Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the center only slightly jiggles.  Remove from the oven and cool completely before Refrigerating for at least 3 hours.  Once set, remove from pan using the parchment lining and slice into 10 rectangular bars.

 

- According to WordPress, this is my 50th Randomness post. That’s a lot of word vomit.

- Nesting has kicked in. I kept waiting for it, thinking maybe it wouldn’t come on as strongly this time around, but I was wrong. Suddenly I’m obsessed with getting Owen’s new room painted (this week!) and moving him into it. There’s a furniture sale at a local place this weekend and my mom and sister will be visiting. They didn’t know it until now, but I’m dragging them there to buy a dresser and a mattress. I’ve already bought a rug and will just need bedding and some accessories to make the Big Boy room a reality. Wee!

I’m going to leave the nursery as is, save for some artwork on the wall and possibly something hanging with baby’s name on it, so there won’t be much work to do there. At some point I do need to tackle the task of unpacking and washing all the teeny tiny clothes that Owen wore and putting them in the dresser. I’m actually excited about that.

The last project involves cleaning out our fourth bedroom that is currently serving as an office slash catch-all for random stuff. This will be converted to the office slash guest room (which is currently upstairs and the room that will be the Big Boy room), but will probably be pretty boring and unfinished for awhile. With seven weeks and change till baby is due, I need to get a move on. Like, yesterday.

- My foot is totally messed up. The plantars wart was removed (ewwww), but is taking a long time to heal. It’s still painful to walk on so I know I’ve been turning  my foot at an odd angle. As a result, my left foot is swollen and feels bruised on top. I’m sure part of the swelling could be pregnancy related, but I’m pretty sure it has more to do with walking like I have a peg leg. Sandals don’t provide enough support so I’m forced to wear my boat shoes, which while super cute, are not what I want to wear on hot days. Any amount of standing or walking irritates it, so I’ve been spending a lot of time icing and elevating.

This didn’t happen with Owen, although the sciatica was worse in terms of pain. I’m stating to get a little grumpy about the end of my pregnancies, though, and the gimpiness that tends to come along with them. Yes, I’m totally complaining. But my foooot. It huuuurts.

- In non-whiny news, my house looks super neat and clean and that’s lovely. We had company yesterday from out of town and I spent the two hours before they arrived making sure everything was in order. I said to Michael that I should probably pretend once a week that company was coming, and just clean as much as I can in two hours. Of course this will only work if he’s home, but  maybe it’s something I’ll try to do. Until, you know, July. Because I’m sure that idea will TOTALLY work with a toddler AND a newborn. Right.

- This morning Owen sat down in the living room with a book about becoming a big brother. I stood quietly behind him and listened to him talk about it. “Baby brother coming! I BIG brother!”

My heart, you guys. It totally just exploded.

- Oh, must go. Owen is using his crayons to color on his booster seat. Awesome.

31 and a half weeks.

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Two months from today is my is due date. I think I’m in denial about it. I’m not really stressed; as a matter of fact if he came a little early, I’d be totally ok with that. It’s not like last time where there were so many questions that come from going through birth the first time. I basically know what to expect, assuming it goes as “planned”.

Where I find myself denying the fact that another human will be coming out of me in just 8ish weeks has to do with Owen. I wrote about it last week, how I was starting to get emotional about the time left with just him. If anything, that feeling is getting stronger, and maybe that’s part of the reason I haven’t finalized a paint color for his big boy room, or seriously moved forward with getting him out of the crib. Because he’s still the baby. My baby.

Our Eight Weeks Till Brother day started at the chiropractor. I wish I had been consistent about going last time around, as this pregnancy has felt way easier on my body. Owen likes coming because everyone gives him attention and there’s fish tanks and a train table to play with. He was happy as a clam when we headed over to Homegoods to do some browsing (because who doesn’t love Homegoods?), and was such a good boy as we shopped. I decided to reward him (and my gurgling stomach) with a special pizza lunch. We sat in the near-empty restaurant, just him and me, and shared some slices and a bottle of water. It was just…so nice. On the drive home, he kept telling me “Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy!”, a leftover phrase learned special for this past weekend. He can keep telling me that as long as he wants.

I’m not “done” with being pregnant yet, but I’m getting there. I waddle. Sleeping is uncomfortable and punctuated by frequent trips to the bathroom. I need Michael’s assistance to hurl myself off the couch. I’m hot all the freaking time. (That sweater I wore today? BAD CHOICE. I was thisclose to stripping naked in the middle of the restaurant. Probably not the best move.)

The other part of the denial is that once he’s here, suddenly I’m a parent to TWO children. Yes, NO DUH. What did I think was going to happen? But woo-boy. Is that a whole new ballgame. Sure, we’ll get used to it. But that unknown factor is chilling. (Oddly, one of my biggest questions is how am I going to shower with two kids? Right now Owen sits in the bathroom and reads books or plays with kid-friendly items like tampons. (What, it’s not like I’m using them right now.) I have no idea how it’s going to go when there’s a distracting little baby sitting  there with eyes and nostrils that just scream for a toddler to stick his finger in them.)

This post is such a brain dump. Too Long; Didn’t Read version:

This kid is coming in two months, my baby is going to be the big kid and I’m overheating. Send ice cream and a wine that I can crack open July 15th.

It’s a parent thing to save your kid’s art, right? I get it. I mean, I don’t want to save EVERY piece of paper my kids ever scribble on, but the special stuff. I’ll save those. I kept Owen’s first-ever drawing, and while it looks remarkably similar to the one below, I’m saving that one too. Because see that black blob on the bottom right corner? He told me that’s a “choo choo train”, so clearly he is a brilliant artist-to-be just budding with curiosity and talent. Or maybe he just watched an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine that day. EITHER WAY.

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Summer is coooooming. I’m so ready for it. I’m not ready for the sweaty, red face, the frizzy hair and the feeling of GET THIS BABY OUT ALREADY, but summer itself? Yes, any time now. We were having some summer prep done to our boat and went to pick it up the other day. Owen went nuts at the marina and it was fun to walk around and daydream. Because these boats? Sadly, none of those are ours. Unless you’d like to toss some tens of thousands our way. I think that one in the middle was on sale for around $50k.

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The couples and kid date night from last weekend was fun, successful and chaotic. I threw on some cute accessories to jazz up an otherwise basic black top and jeans and brought a homemade key lime pie. A friend made a Butterfinger trifle that I ate for three days until it made me sick. In a delicious way.

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I dropped my foundation on the bathroom floor. I cannot tell you how mad that made me. It’s not designer or anything, it’s this one by Revlon, but STILL. That’s like 14 bucks down the drain. Or more like seeped into the grout.

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Luckily, I have Owen to help me clean up. He loves to empty the dishwasher, “fold” laundry and push the vacuum around. With Kodiak’s dog hair the Swiffer is basically useless, but hey, if he wants to clean, I’m not going to stop him. It’s coming in handy for places my belly is currently preventing me from reaching easily now. Manual labor, for the win!

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Did you know that Starbucks is doing their annual Frappachino “Happy Hour”? I think it ends this weekend, but from 3-5 you can get any size Frappchino for half price. So…I’ve had…a few. And this year, they have CHOCOLATE whipped cream.

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Be still my heart.

Happy weekend!

I’ve unofficially begun a Biweekly Baking tradition during the week. It’s usually cookies, but Owen and I have a playdate today and I think it’s nice to bring a little snack for the moms and/or the kids if someone is hosting you. Cookies didn’t really seem to fit the bill for that.

I recently got around to reorganizing my Pinterest boards a little to make it easier for myself to find recipes. I had almost 300 (!!) compiled in one big food board, and it was getting chaotic. During this process, I stumbled across a recipe for yogurt cake that I had pinned and forgotten about. Seemed like the perfect solution for my playdate offering.

The focus of this recipe is Greek yogurt – it uses two single-serving cups – and I think that’s what gives the cake it’s unique texture. My loaf did not come out bread-like or fluffy, which I was expecting based on the photo that accompanied the original recipe. Instead, it came out weighing a ton and is dense, moist and almost undercooked-looking (although it isn’t). Don’t let this scare you! It’s really delicious.

The original recipe offers add-ins to make the loaf lemon-poppy or with berries. She also made hers in two mini-loaf pans rather than one big one. I can’t say for sure whether or not that would affect the texture or not. I made one big lemon-blueberry. It was the right decision!

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This time I took my own photo. All artsy-fartsy and what not. Ha.

Would I make this loaf again? You bet. I’m really enjoying it. And the perk of it being so dense is you can slice small, thin slices to make it stretch further, or make yourself feel better about eating five slices in a row. Not that I would know anything about that.

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Lemon-Blueberry Yogurt Loaf (my comments in bold)
From Fresh From the Oven

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 containers of 5.3oz organic Greek yogurt
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
1/4 cup of frozen blueberries (more if you are making a big loaf cake) (I used just about 1/2 cup)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. (Don’t skip this step. Mine slid right out no problem when cooked.)

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated.

Add in blueberries and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean. (Mine was still loose in the middle at 50 minutes. I think my total cooking time was about 57 minutes.)

Meanwhile, cook the 1/4 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a foil-lined sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

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Eat, enjoy, share with friends. Although if you’re my playdate friend, you’re only getting a few slices, because I can’t stop eating it. Sorry!

This weekend the clouds parted and graced us with two days of sun, the first in a week. We celebrated by spending as much time outside as possible. Our front and back yards are two of Owen’s favorite places to play, but the beauty of where we live is within minutes our toes can be in the sand.

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We explored. We discovered rocks and shells and the feeling of sand falling between our fingers. We threw rocks in the ocean and chased seagulls. Yesterday, in an effort to combat Owen’s afternoon crankies, I grabbed a bucket, plopped our butts in the sand and spent an hour hiding and unearthing a pile of rocks of with him. We left with tangled hair and smelling of salt water. It was perfect.

It hit me this weekend that our time as a family of three is running short. With just over nine weeks until baby is due, I’m noticing more and more each day how big Owen is, how personable and funny and beautiful. I want to bottle the memories of these last weeks and carry them with me, always remembering what it was like to be a mommy to one amazing little boy.

I cannot wait to meet our new baby, to watch Owen become a brother, but still, right now, I want to hold on so very tightly.

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Brothers on the beach

I know that come July I won’t be able to imagine my life without my two boys. I know that our puzzle isn’t complete yet, and baby is one of the pieces we’ve been waiting for. I know that Owen won’t remember these days of just the two of us digging holes on the beach, but I will.

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I will, my little boy. And I will cherish them forever.

- Last weekend I hopped on a train and headed down to New York City. It was going to be a whirlwind trip — I’d actually end up spending more hours on the train than in the actual city, but I’m so glad I went. My blogging buddy from way back, Jess, was going to be in town with her family, and we had never met in real life. What a perfect opportunity to join up with the lady formerly known as Clink (Alena) for an old-school blogger meet-up. It was lovely, to say the least.

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They were kind enough to tell me otherwise, but Pregnancy Face is back and in full effect. Yaaaaay.

- Remember I told you how my foot was bothering me? It got so bad that I decided to suck it up and make an old lady podiatrist appointment. When I arrived, I sat in the waiting room with five other people. I was the youngest by at least 40 years and most of them eyed me suspiciously. After I filled out my paperwork, I was led to an exam room, where I got to sit and stare at this shoe display:

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Orthopedic shoe heaven. This is basically my worst nightmare. I decided right then and there to patent a line of non-orthopedic looking orthopedic shoes for Older Women Who Love Shoes and Can’t Stand To Have Elephant Feet. (Trademark! Copyright! Mine, mine, mine!)

OK, fine. I’m being dramatic about the whole thing. But it turned out that I don’t have a corn, I have a plantars wart, which sounds so much more disgusting than a corn. The doctor told me it’s common to pick up the virus that causes it, but then it is exasperated by stress, weight change causing pressure on the foot and hormonal changes. So, uh, basically I’m a walking cocktail for it right now. He put some stuff on it that’s supposed to cause the skin to blister and push the wart out and I go back next week for a follow up. GROSS.

- I have successfully taught Owen to answer with my first choice name when I ask him what we should name Baby Brother. Michael still hasn’t committed, so I needed some back up. When I have Owen perform his trick, I’m met with an eye roll from Michael. Hehe. There’s only 10 weeks left to go…this kid needs a name!

- We weren’t able to confirm a sitter, so tonight’s couples date night has turned into a big pizza party at our friend’s house with all the kids. There will be six adults and six kids in total, plus two in utero. Definitely different from the date nights of the past, but I’m really looking forward to it.

- Owen is cutting the first of his four 2-year molars, so he’s been…pleasant. And congested. It’s affected his mood and his sleep and gah, I am tired. Last night was an epic battle to get him to go to sleep. Screaming and sobbing, wanting nothing more than to be held on the couch and refusing to sleep in his crib. I finally went in my room and lay him down on my bed…and he was instantly asleep. I left him, surrounded by pillows, for an hour or so, before moving him back to his crib. He woke around midnight crying  again, but this time Michael was able to sooth him back down.

We hastily attempted a night with his mattress on the floor once when he acted like this before, but it wasn’t really talked about as being a Big Boy Bed transition and didn’t go well. But I’m starting to think that he actually sleeps better in a bed at this point, and we should stop dragging our feet and do it. So…maybe a mattress purchase is on the agenda this weekend.

And a nap.

For ME.

Happy weekend!

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