24 February 2009

40 More Days of the What-Ifs....Hopefully!

Seeing as how tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, we've got a good 40 days until our baby girl arrives.

For the most part, I've been pretty good at staying calm, cool and collected throughout this pregnancy. I do have my moments, however, when my mind starts to play the What-If game. It keeps me up at night, distracts my mind while I'm talking to someone, and gives me mini-panic attacks during our childbirth classes.

When I see pictures of newborn babies in the hospital, I get a little nervous. And by nervous, I mean woozy, anxious, and sometimes a bit on the nauseous side. My mind starts buzzing with What-If scenarios. What if she comes out crying and doesn't want to stop and EVERYONE is staring at me thinking, "Um, hello, she's your daughter, can't you calm her down?" What if she cries in the middle of the night and we sleep right through it? What if she doesn't like my milk? What if none of the clothes we have for her fit her? And, oh, I shudder at the thought, what if she looks more like David than me? (Okay, I never said these were rational thoughts.)

I know deep down that David and I are ready for our baby girl to arrive. No, our glider chair isn't in yet and no, the shelves aren't up on the walls, and no, David doesn't know how to change a diaper and I don't know exactly how to breastfeed a baby. But, I guess most first-time parents are the same way. We're ready to meet her, to get to know her, and love her, and yes, even sacrifice more than a few hours of precious sleep for her. I'm willing to wait the 40 days...and I sometimes even welcome them, so that we can get those shelves up and, I don't know, DECIDE ON A NAME! But, I am looking forward to the What-If game being over.

Oh Lord, What if the What If game continues through infancy?!

18 February 2009

Jumble This: MERITSLOD

David and I know that we are officially old and boring when one of the highlights of our evening is crawling into bed and doing our version of "Got It Crossword" and a Jumbler puzzle or two. (The other highlight involves judging American Idol.) The Jumblers are the puzzles found in newspapers, like USA Today, where you unscramble four words and then use specific letters from those words to unscramble the final puzzle. And, "Got It Crossword" is our safe version of doing a crossword puzzle where one person can't just shout out the answer...we wait until we both know it (or both don't, which is sometimes the case) until we say it out loud. We do the "Got It" with a number of our trivia games that we enjoy...the Will Shortz Puzzlemaster books being our personal favorites for road trips.

So, last night, after completing our crossword puzzle and first Jumbler puzzle (in record time), we decided to do another jumbler. Our first challenge was to unscramble JOING. For the life of us, we could NOT figure out what word that was supposed to be. We finished the other words and I made David look in the back of the book to find the answer....JINGO. Who in the world has ever heard of a jingo (well, except for you, Marissa)?? I asked David if he had ever heard of it and he got all flustered, saying, "I know what it is, I just can't think of one...oh, wait, I've got one," and then he proceeded to sing, "G.E. We bring good things to life!" in the cheeriest tone I've ever heard. I barely had the heart to tell him that, no, that was a jingle, not a jingo!

I discovered today that a jingo is a "person who professes his or her patriotism loudly and excessively, favoring vigilant preparedness for war and an aggressive foreign policy." Thank you dictionary.com!

Oh, and today's Jumbler answer: Old Timers!

17 February 2009

It's No Wonder He's Been So Antsy Lately

Could it be because he's been in our baby's new car seat and stroller, her crib, and now her new papasan? Sorry Magnum, we need to make sure they work!

13 February 2009

Because Black is Slimming

And, right now, I'll take whatever help I can get.
So, here I am at a whopping 7 months pregnant. I am still feeling good, despite what my husband may say upon hearing me grunt and groan everytime I try to get out of the car, get up from the couch, roll over, get out of bed (which happens at least 4 times each night), or bend over to pick anything up off the floor. I am happy to groan away because I have not been plagued with the heartburn or Braxton Hicks contractions or stretch marks. Do you hear that? That's me knocking on the biggest piece of wood I can find!

Baby Girl is weighing in at a little over 3 pounds and is about 16 inches long. She is still moving around quite a bit, so there must be some wiggle room in there. It's funny at night when I am laying up against David because he can feel her kicking and moving. Maybe it's as hard for her to get comfortable as it is for me.

The room renovation is pretty much complete. We are just waiting on the shelves to be installed. Our contractor is also going to build some storage units for us because that is the biggest thing we are lacking in there...well, besides a baby. We put the furniture together last night and set the room up as much as possible. This girl is going to be so lucky to have such a big play area!

Enjoy the pictures...I'm going to have to start practicing my poses because we are having our belly shots done next weekend. Any tips on how to make my face look slim and my belly round?

11 February 2009

Pickles and Ice Cream? No, I want Lulu the Lamb Stuffed Chair

I know that I have blogged about a few of my food cravings (yet, somehow, there are more egg posts than Cheeseburger in Paradise ones), but I really have not had those weird, pregnancy cravings that you hear women (and their ever-supportive husbands) talking about. I have pregnant friends - I won't name names - who get a craving for something and just HAVE TO HAVE IT. Right then. Right there. And, their husband better just go and get it for them. There was one time where I was kind of craving an Oreo Frosty from Wendy's, but I think I played it up to be more of a craving than it really was so I could convince David to find the nearest Wendy's and let me have it. I wanted it, I just wasn't going to flip out if I didn't get it.
So, instead of food cravings, I'm having baby product cravings. And by cravings, I mean I am becoming slightly OBSESSIVE about these baby products.

It all started when Dave and I decided to have our wedding photographer, Daniel, take belly shots of me....that kind of rolled into, "Oh, and we'll want newborn photographs too." Thus, began my search for examples of the two on the world wide web! For those of you brave enough, take a gander at an example of how we WON'T be posing. If you are over 18 and don't mind seeing some bare skin, click here. But, don't say I didn't warn you.

Anyway, after I found some other examples of pregnancy photos, I moved on to the really precious newborn shots from various photographers. And, that's where I found the props! As if the babies weren't adorable enough, they had to be photographed with some of the cutest things imaginable.

First, I got on a kick with these little baby cocoons. (I even tried to make one, but let me tell you, knitting scarves is about as much as I can do with yarn.)

Something is seriously wrong with you if you don't think that Peanut would be the cutest thing wrapped up in this cocoon.

Well, that search led me to this picture:

No, it wasn't the cocoon I wanted in that picture, it was the vintage scale! I have searched and scoured the internet trying to find this scale. Oh, I've seen hundreds of scales, just none of them as cute as the one in this picture. But, don't worry, I'm still searching!

So, after I spent hours searching for scales and cocoons, I focused my attention onto knit caps and am pretty sure this is the one I'm going to get. Have I mentioned that I LOVE Etsy?

Internet, can I get a collective, "Ahhhhhhh!!!"

At this point, I'm sure you are all wondering about the post title, scratching your head and saying, "Who or what is this Lulu the Lamb?" Well, folks, it's just the latest in my "cravings." I saw this stuffed chair used as a prop in a newborn photography session and really wanted it. I found it a few weeks ago and tried to hint to Grandma Cooper about how Baby Girl wanted it, and upon realizing that I wasn't going to get it from her, I went today to order it myself. Well, Babystyle is going out of business, so their internet sales have stopped. I found a store in Sherman Oaks that has one (30% off!), but they won't ship it, and Sherman Oaks is just a little too far, especially since David thinks that Lulu is ugly. Judge for yourselves:

I know...he's cold-hearted! So, I am totally stretching it here and am begging Michele to ask her District Manager (who lives in LA and oversees an Aveda store at the mall where this Babystyle store is) to pick it up for me and transport it up to Santa Barbara the next time he comes....which just happens to be tomorrow! Even if I have to wait until he comes again next month, I think we'll be okay....as long as I know we have it.

And, besides, with these cravings, as opposed to those of the Ding Dong and Frosty variety, not only am I stimulating the economy, but I'm also doing my part in keeping the scale I have to step on every two weeks from making huge jumps to the right!

07 February 2009

Under the Big Tent

We had an awesome day yesterday, despite the five hours of sleep we got that was actually broken into two segments - the airplane ride and Ryan's comfy guest bed.

Peyton, waking up David! He was like a kid at Christmas, waiting outside our door until I opened it up!

After waking up the 2nd time and having some breakfast, we headed off to the CNN building. It was so cool touring CNN and meeting all of Ryan's awesome co-workers!* We got to watch Hala rehearse for her new show (shameless plug here, but "International Desk with Hala G." airs from 12p-1p eastern, on CNN International) and see a lot of the behind-the-scenes action that goes on in the control room. I seriously don't know how my brother does it, because I thought being in a room with 25 screaming children was enough to get my BP up, but the control room is 100x more chaotic.

We left CNN (yummm, and grabbed some Jimmy John's for lunch) and drove around a little bit of Atlanta before picking up Hala for Cirque Du Soleil. OH MY GOSH! I cannot go on enough about how INCREDIBLE the show was. We had tickets to Kooza which tells the story of an innocent clown finding his place in the world. I really didn't know what to expect, except for the idea that there was going to be A LOT of crazy stuff going on. In my wildest dreams, I couldn't have pictured some of the things we saw. We were 5 rows back from the center of the stage (but, honestly, I don't think there is a bad seat in the tent). The cast had amazing costumes and make-up and the performances were just mind-blowing. There were clowns (not as scary as I had imagined, either), jugglers, acrobats, a chair balancing act, a unicyclist who cycles around stage while twisting a woman around on his shoulders, tight rope walkers, and contortionists! My personal favorite was the two performers in the Wheel of Death. The entire show was amazing and I could go back and see it again....and again!

The Wheel of Death!

The four of us after the show.

*A special thanks to Ryan's co-worker, Armie. She not only reads this blog AND called me adorable, but also gave us a bag full of baby goodies! Thanks Armie!

05 February 2009

Mexican Sand vs. Stone Harbor

Yes, there is a difference between the two colors on the right. It's very slight, but it's the difference between David liking it and not....so that's actually, pretty big!

After one trip and a quart of paint from Home Depot, and two trips and two separate quarts of paint from Miner's Hardware, Stone Harbor is the winner! Who knew that choosing a "neutral tan" color would be so difficult?

The contractors have been here all week and the nursery is coming along so nicely! I lost several hours of sleep Sunday night and Monday night worrying and stressing over every little detail and have now vowed to just leave it in their hands. For those of you who know our house, the two little archways are walled in and a small base unit has been installed on the inside. Next week, we'll have actual shelves up there too. The main entrance has been framed and is ready for the doors which will arrive on Thursday.

Here's a shot from the outside...all we are waiting on are the two french doors.

And, here's a shot from the inside. In the two niches, we had a little shelf built from the bottom and are going to have 2 or 3 wooden shelves installed in the upper section for picture frames and knick knacks.

The painting is going up tomorrow, which works out perfectly since we are leaving for Atlanta tonight and won't have to be around to smell the fumes. AND, it will be such a nice surprise to come back to!

We are off in a few minutes to head down to LAX for our Atlanta trip. I will do my best to post at least once while we are down there! Ryan already has so many fun things lined up, including 4th row seats to Cirque Du Soleil! And, did I mention....Cheeseburger in Paradise!!! (And, he just called to tell me he picked up a box of Ding Dongs! What an awesome brother!)

02 February 2009

Oh Come On, It's Just Another Blog About Eggs

My new sister-in-law, Lauren, kindly pointed out that I blog about eggs ALL THE TIME. But, it's because my husband loves them so incredibly much. And, since I love him even more than that, I make him an egg-based breakfast on the daily!

He could do with the same boring egg/egg beaters blend, two sausages and three corn tortillas every morning, but I, quite frankly, get sick of making that! I am pretty good about switching it up for him with Soyrizzo and cheese eggs and various casseroles, and we all know about the emu egg, but I've got to say my latest breakfast debut was by far the best yet!

So, everytime we are up visiting Peter and Irma, we have to get the egg souffles from Panera Bread. Irma got a bunch of them for us one time when we were visiting and we are HOOKED!

Well, the other night I made a couple crescent rolls with our dinner and saved the dough. I found this recipe online and adapted it for the stuff we had in our house. Instead of the spinach and artichoke, I used ham and cheese, and it was DELICIOUS. I usually only do the egg breakfasts on the weekend, but I think I may have eaten at least half of the three souffles I made.

So, if you are interested, I thought I would write out this recipe...it's very easy, but like I said, I just used eggs, milk, pieces of ham and cheese. Oh, and I only needed to bake it for 20 minutes.

Panera Bread's Spinach Artichoke Baked Egg Souffle

3 tablespoons frozen spinach, thawed
3 tablespoons minced artichoke hearts
2 teaspoons minced onion1 teaspoon minced red bell pepper
5 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 8-ounce tube Pillsbury Crescent butter flake doughmelted butter
1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine spinach, artichoke hearts, onion, and red bell pepper in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of water, cover bowl with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in the plastic. Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

Beat 4 eggs. Mix in milk, cream, cheddar cheese, Jack cheese, Parmesan, and salt. Stir in spinach, artichoke, onion, and bell pepper.

Microwave egg mixture for 30 seconds on high, and then stir it. Do this 4 to 5 more times or until you have a very runny scrambled egg mixture. This process will tighten up the eggs enough so that the dough won't sink into the eggs when it's folded over.

Unroll and separate the crescent dough into four rectangles. In other words, don't tear the dough along the perforations that make triangles. Instead, pinch the dough together along those diagonal perforations so that you have four rectangles. Use some flour on the dough and roll across the width of the rectangle with a rolling pin so that each piece of dough stretches out into a square that is approximately 6 inches by 6 inches.

Brush melted butter inside four 4-inch baking dishes or ramekins. Line each ramekin with the dough, then spoon equal amounts of egg mixture into each ramekin. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of asiago cheese on top of the egg mixture in each ramekin, and then gently fold the dough over the mixture. Beat the last egg in a small bowl, then brush beaten egg over the top of the dough in each ramekin.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until dough is brown. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the souffl├ęs from each ramekin and serve hot.

*Serves 4. You can make the spinach and bacon version of this dish by substituting 4 pieces of cooked and crumbled bacon for the artichoke hearts. Simply leave the artichoke out of the recipe above, and then add the bacon to the egg mixture before you microwave it.If you'd like to make bigger souffles, double up on all the filling ingredients, and bake the souffles in 6-inch ramekins. You will also have to extend the baking time by 5 minutes.


01 February 2009

Because Practice Makes Perfect

Thursday night, David and I put together our car seat and stroller travel system. (Thankfully, it only took all of 10 minutes!) Saturday morning, David decided to take it outside for a little practice run. Check out who played the role of Baby Girl!

Don't you love how David's outfit matches the travel system? We had a tough time deciding on a color. We wanted it to match the interior of the car, be usable again in the future if we have a boy, and match Peanut's pink outfits, and I guess Daddy's outfits too!