week twenty-seven and a christmas tree


Having barely managed to hold myself back from decorating for Christmas until this weekend, Husband and I went tree shopping on Friday. And came home with not one, but two. And I feel like that should be two and half because a 10-ft tall giant tree should count for something. Of course we put them in the car, wrapped in cozy blankets, rather than on top just because we could. What’s the point of having a giant SUV if not for Christmas tree hauling? I wanted the trees to be able to ride in style and comfort and enjoy peppermint mochas and Christmas music, too. I might not hug trees in other aspects of my life but I am quite benevolent towards the Fir species.

While looking for a XM Christmas station:

Me: We have to listen to Christmas music…we have a Christmas tree in the car!

Husband: No we don’t.

Me: Yes we do! It even smells like Christmas in here! Do you want “Holiday Traditions” or “Holly”?

Husband: I didn’t hear ESPN radio as one of those options.

Me: We listen to ESPN radio all the time. Indulge me for the next 20 minutes.

Husband: I’ll give you 3 minutes.

Me: Offer unaccepted. Touch the dial and you die.

Husband: It’s not December. You’re going to jinx Christmas.

Me: Nuh-uh. Last year we got our tree before Thanksgiving. AND IT WAS AWESOME.

Husband: [silence]

Me: Ya, let’s hear your comeback for that.

Husband: …it was pretty awesome.

Point for me. I’m pretty sure that brings our total to Husband=3 million, Me=1 but who’s counting?

It only took me two days, but I finally decorated the giant tree. And it was indeed proclaimed “awesome”. I’m convinced it was the extra touches of a smooth ride home and “Holiday Traditions”.

I would very much love to take those beautiful, sparkly pictures where the lights are gorgeous and bright but all I have is an iPhone that I barely know how to use so this is what you get. It’s prettier in real life, I promise. If you would like to contribute to the stellar-camera-fund, I take Visa.

week twenty-seven

In hindsight, I should have worn a color that isn’t the same as the background…

today is actually the start of week 27 so I’m back on track.  yay!
Babysaurus is now the size of a rutabega (whatever that is) and sleeps and wakes up on a fairly regular schedule which coincides with the exact mirror of mine. Little guy knows his stuff.

highlight of the week: hanging two stockings for the last time ever. It’s kind of weird, actually.
things I miss the most about not being pregnant: not having a nervous breakdown over things like not being able to decide what to have for dinner.
things I love the most about being pregnant: walking with Husband. I get a free pass on the ridicule for not running.
cravings: those delicious pretzels from the mall.
things that make me sick: too much cheesecake. And going more than 90 minutes without food.
symptoms: ALWAYS hungry!
things I’m looking forward to:  putting together the crib this week…again…third time’s the charm!

week twenty-six and a lot of turkey

happy {belated} thanksgiving!

I meant to write this on time but then life happened, the computer died, and turkey needed to be cooked.  I’m sure you’re all shocked.  Yesterday was wonderful and filled with everything Thanksgiving day should be: football, tables full of food, great friends, pumpkin beer (Husband’s own brew), a smoke-filled kitchen, and fantastic conversation.  I didn’t even have to do the dishes!  (Thanks, Husband!)    Earlier this week, I thought I’d write a post with all of our favorite Turkey-day recipes but then I realized we make them up as we go and there was no way I’d take pictures of my kitchen yesterday.  Then you’d know what a messy cook I am and they’d all be pretty hazy from the smoke (no, we didn’t burn anything but the turkey juice got carried away and tried to escape, only to wind up singed to the bottom of the oven).  But I can tell you that our Thanksgiving was perfectly traditional and I will be satisfying my stuffing craving for the rest of the week.  Hooray!

And now the best part is it’s officially Christmas season so we get to go tree shopping (if we get brave enough to battle the crazy Black Friday people) and put up Christmas lights!

week twenty-six

week 26 started Sunday…I’m a little behind…
Babysaurus is now the size of a head of lettuce and supposedly can open his eyes.  Not sure how much there is to see and do in there but it must be more than I think because he finds ways to stay constantly busy.
highlight of the week: working on Baby Hunter’s room. His little clothes look so cute and tiny in the closet!
things I miss the most about not being pregnant: getting to lay on my stomach or back or any position that doesn’t make my legs fall asleep
things I love the most about being pregnant: elastic pants (again). I think they’re going to make an appearance every Thanksgiving from now on.
cravings: Finally got to satisfy my craving for Turkey dinner and (decaf) peppermint mochas! Of course, that happens every year about this time but I blame Babysaurus this year.
things that make me sick: Too many sweets and not enough turkey.
symptoms: I have a suspicion that Babysaurus is going to be a prize fighter. Thanks to the kicking, I have a hard time breathing, it hurts to move, and my nervous system is going haywire and can’t figure out how to keep all of my limbs awake at the same time. Way to go, little man.
things I’m looking forward to:  I think a part of me will miss being pregnant but I’m so excited to meet the little guy in 3 months!

the (almost) best day ever

Last week I had a rough, tear-filled day because I thought everyone had forgotten my birthday. (True story) I try not to make a big deal out of birthdays to avoid the inevitable disappointment when I’ve accidentally discovered the not-so-cleverly hidden gifts (Husband can vouch for me: I don’t snoop at all, everyone else is just terrible at being sneaky) and I somehow end up with a to-do list a mile long that day but the pregnancy hormones got the best of me. In more ways than one because it turns out my birthday was actually today, not last week, and I was the only one who forgot my birthday. Huh. Super exciting! So it turned into the most awesome day ever. Except at the end but I’ll get to that.

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Husband woke me up with breakfast in bed, thereby assuring himself a firm leading spot in the race for husband of the year. It was delicious and he even did the dishes. Double-win. And then the neighbors brought Husband and I a Panera picnic lunch at work. Triple-win! And I had a beautiful flower delivery from my in-laws and lots of happy phone calls! Quadruple-win!
And to top it off, I saw something awesome today. Mind you, we live in a very unique part of America but it’s still fairly civilized. Or so I thought until I encountered this on my way to Starbucks (which is in the middle of town on a busy, perfectly regular street.)

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I had a rather pleasant afternoon not working and admiring my new sewing machine (thanks, Husband!), hanging Babysaurus’ clothes in his closet, and putting his books on the shelves. (There is nothing cuter than a baby sweater-vest. I can already tell I’m going to do everything I can to keep him from growing!) This took all afternoon because I kept getting distracted by Curious George. Sneaky little monkey.
Anyway, while Husband made me a delicious steak dinner, I made my very most favorite dessert: apple pie cheesecake. A tradition in my house growing up was to always make your own birthday cake. As a child I thought it was awesome because I could have box-mix chocolate cake with chocolate icing and get to display my Lego creations on top! How cool and delicious all at the same time! As an adult, I realize that this is much cheaper and used up hours of energy and concentration (which meant I wasn’t getting into trouble elsewhere) and if it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, it was my own fault for being bad at decorating. My mother is a sneaky genius. Regardless, the tradition stuck and I still love making my own cake (or cheesecake, post-Celiac). It never fails to disappoint.

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After dinner, the fun had to be over as I sat down to put the finishing touches on a couple of papers. I pushed the “on” button on the computer and several unusual things happened on the screen resulting in Husband proclaiming it broken but fixable. Three hours later, it was proclaimed gone for good with all of my papers and pictures and sanity. I then had a complete mental breakdown, effectively ruining my otherwise perfect day. But by then the cheesecake was ready and 3 pieces later, I felt better.

All in all, a completely typical day around here-totally fun and terrific and involving some kind of seemingly cataclysmic tragedy in which I must be talked off a ledge. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But I would like those papers back and would like to not buy a new computer. Also, this means I have seriously diminished blogging capabilities, which is obviously what I’m most concerned about. Degrees aren’t really that important. Looks like I know what I’ll be getting for Christmas!

week twenty-five

week twenty-five

Today actually starts week 26 according to the due date but I forgot to post this last week so I’m catching up now….

Babysaurus is growing quickly!  His lungs are developing and he reacts to outside sounds.  The worship service at church is his favorite – I’m afraid he’s going to get too excited one of these weeks and accidentally kick himself out.
highlight of the week: we are so blessed!  Thanks to amazingly generous friends and family who threw us a non-scary shower
things I miss the most about not being pregnant: energy!  I have none and could really use some
things I love the most about being pregnant: feeling the little dude do somersaults.  We need to work on his timing, but it’s pretty cool
cravings: anything involving mexican food.  it’s absurd.
things that make me sick: nothing besides pickles, olives, and tuna salad which I hated before pregnancy so it’s really no loss.
symptoms: my poor feet are so swollen and fall asleep all the time.  bummer.  and I still can’t remember my address…
things I’m looking forward to: watching Husband become a dad.  It’s awesome.  We were laying in bed while I was reading a book about death and the civil war (great stuff) and Husband was reading the baby books.  At least one of us will know how to change a diaper…

and it wasn’t scary at all

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There are two things in life of which I am terrified. There is an even longer list of things which scare me (like accidentally drinking expired milk or waking up to a spider on my face) or I find uncomfortable (like mustard and broken bones) but two take the cake: snakes and baby showers. Snakes are just plain old creepy and baby showers are just plain old weird. I find it awkward to hold an entire party to ask people to bring us stuff and in which the conversations center around how fat I am. There isn’t even any football to watch. Don’t even get me started on the games-talk about awkward! So with our little dude I was hoping to avoid the whole situation entirely but Husband thought it was important and my mom graciously said that I could help plan it and she promised no games (or anyone touching my belly which I find strange). Emily Post is rolling over in her grave at the etiquette faux-pas of helping to plan your own shower but I love planning parties so really don’t care. I am horrified at the thought of being the center of attention but love being at the center of the action so if I got to help with the planning, the actually party wouldn’t be as stressful for me.

That was an extremely long way to say that Mom hosted a baby shower for us, I got to help, and all of us had a great time. And it was exhausting but not scary at all.

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It was important to me to have all members of the family be included, not just women because Husband and I are starting a family as a unit and celebrating that was what I wanted the party to be all about. Also, if I was going to do this, Husband was going to have to do it, too.

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I absolutely love children’s books and reading so the theme was a natural one for Mom and I to pick. The invitations were made to look like library check-out cards, to get people in the mood.

I’ve had several requests for more details about the invites.  You can find my follow-up post with more directions here.

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so much food!

When the guests walked in, they received a “program” in the fashion of a little golden book that detailed the day’s events, menu, and a note of thanks from Husband and I.

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the program

All of the food was patterned after some of our favorite books:

Meatballs from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Fruit cups from The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Muffins (recipes can be found here and here) from If You Give A Moose A Muffin
Hot Chocolate from A Bear Called Paddington
Spinach and Ham Quiche from Green Eggs and Ham
Chantilly Cream Cake (Husband’s favorite-you can find the recipe here) from Marcel the Pastry Chef
And about 50 other things. Once we got started, we couldn’t stop!

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Banners of book covers and quotes about reading hung above the table.
A dear friend made the most adorable veggie tray ever!

One of the favorites was blueberry ebelskivers (we called them blueberry pancakes because that’s what Curious George made) so I thought I’d share the recipe for that one.

blueberry ebelskivers

from food.com
baker’s note: ebelskivers are a Danish pastry that can be stuffed with all manner of delicious things. Sometimes we make them for dinner with potatoes and ham or have plain ones rolled in cinnamon and sugar. The only catch is you need a special pan which can be found here but probably on Amazon as well.

1 3/4 C flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 Tbsp pure cane sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Zest of one lemon
3 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1 1/3 C buttermilk
3/4 C ricotta cheese
5 Tbsp butter, melted
1 pint blueberries
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

1. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Set aside.
2. In another bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks. Add buttermilk and ricotta
3. Whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture until well combined. It will be lumpy. Don’t worry
4. In a separate bowl (yes, you’ll use a lot of bowls) beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter.
6. Put 1/2 tsp butter in each well of a ebelskiver pan. Place over medium heat until butter begins to bubble.
7. Pour 1 Tbsp batter until each well. Add a few blueberries and then 1 more Tbsp of batter.
8. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
9. Now the tricky part: turn the pancakes over and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes more. We use two wooden skewers to accomplish this. Husband does it perfectly. I make a disastrous mess.
10. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with lemon curd, jam, or syrup for the traditionalists.

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In lieu of games, we had activities that would create lasting memories for Babysaurus.

Guests could design a fabric page for a touch-and-feel book. We just set out all types of fabric and stencils and let them go to town.
Instead of a guest book, people wrote a note to Babysaurus (and/or advice for his parents!) to be opened on a birthday of their choosing. We set out 19 envelopes-one for each year, birth day through eighteen-and each year as he opens those notes, he’ll be reminded of all of those praying for him and who love him.

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Husband and I were completely overwhelmed with the generosity of our friends and guests: I’m pretty sure Baby Hunter is set for life! Not to mention, he has a pretty sweet library now.

week twenty-four

 

week twenty-four

Babysaurus now weighs more than one pound and is over a foot long. And he still loves somersaults. Don’t be overwhelmed with how pretty I look in the picture…I had just come from Yoga…
highlight of the week: only two and a half days of work!  So maybe that doesn’t have much to do with Babysaurus, but it’s pretty important to me right now.
things I miss the most about not being pregnant: sleeping.  Sweet cream puffs, I miss sleeping…
things I love the most about being pregnant: Preggo Yoga.  Best hour of my week, hands-down.
cravings: in addition to anything mexican or involving chili, THANKSGIVING DINNER!
things that make me sick: anything really sugary.  Like ice cream.  oops….
symptoms: no sleep, achy muscles, can’t remember my own address…..sounds like a classic case of pregnancy!
things I’m looking forward to: THANKSGIVING DINNER.  Again, that’s more about me than Baby but I don’t really care.  I want some turkey and stuffing.  Oh, and getting Babysaurus to wear the cutest onesie ever.