31 March 2009

It's Not Like His Breath Doesn't Already Smell Like 4 Day Old Fish!

Before I met David, I could have probably spent the rest of my life only eating the kind of fish that gets beer-battered and deep-fried and comes with a nice side of "chips." But, my husband loves seafood...scallops, oysters, crabs, lobster, halibut, salmon, you name it. And, he loves it fixed anyway possible...seared, poached, grilled, steamed, in soups, stirfrys...pretty much anyway BUT beer-battered and deep-fried with a side of chips. Well, that's not exactly true, he'll eat them that way - if there is no other option or we are at an Irish pub.


Anyway, he has worked his hardest at introducing me to new kinds of foods, not just stopping at seafood. And, I will admit, my palate has expanded quite a bit in the last four years. When we lived in Indiana, we would have steamed fish at least once a week. Our favorite (or, maybe just MY favorite) was rainbow trout. Since moving out here, we've been unable to get any from any of the stores in our area, so we've been eating a lot of salmon and tilapia. Now, there's nothing wrong with salmon, really, except for the fact that it tastes a lot like fish. And, for me, that's not a great thing. I can handle a little bit of it, but after awhile, I just get sick of the fishy taste. Last week, David went to check out the seafood department at the grocery store and found that they had a selection of trout. That night, we feasted on the best tasting fish I've had in ages. And, I went back again on Monday to find that they had even more! I am seriously thinking of writing a letter to the head manager begging them to keep ordering that fish. I love it so much better than the salmon....it doesn't taste like fish!!!


Now, the only one in this house who loves seafood more than my husband is Magnum! He is lucky enough to get the fish skins after we fix dinner. He could be buried under four blankets clear across the house and the second the fish comes out of the wrapper, he is waiting for it in the kitchen. Monday night, after our dinner was ready, I mixed the skin up as much as possible with his dog food so that he would not only eat it, but his real dinner as well.



And, here's what happened....51 morsels of food left on the tile and not a hint of trout skin in the bowl!

Move Over, Martha! There's a New Crafter in Town!

Alright, so I am not quite Martha Stewart, as much as I strive to be her. Well, not be her so much, because her dogs are annoying and let's not forget that she's been to JAIL. But, man, can that woman do some crafts!

When I first found out I was pregnant, before anyone else knew, I stifled my morning bouts of queasiness with copious amounts of buttered toast and would lay in front of the tv just waiting for projectile vomit to come out of my mouth. Thank goodness it never did, and as a result, I was able to check out some Martha episodes in the process. My favorite project that she did was making adorable dog appliqued onesies. Let me just tell you, I became inspired! And, so I set off to make some of my own. Fortunately, her website usually has the instructions online for most of the projects and I was able to get right to work. Oh wait, except for the fact that I didn't have fabric, onesies, any other materials, and most importantly...a sewing machine OR the skills to sew! Dave and I found a cute fabric store in Berkeley and got some really cool fabrics and almost all the necessary things to make the onesies. I spent the next few days getting dog patterns and working on the onesies for various friends who had small babies or were expecting as well. I did all the work myself and outsourced the sewing to a lady here in town. (Since then, I've gotten my very own sewing machine and am on my way to learning how to do the stitches myself!)

Here are a couple shots of my work:




My muse...Caroline, sporting her Airdale Terrier, Ruby.

I've also made a Golden Retriever, a Labrador Retriever, a Cairn Terrier, and yes, Jill, a Pomeranian. Unfortunately, the Pomeranian looks a little bit like a pufferfish, but you'll probably still get it! Ha, the one thing I haven't made is an Italian Greyhound onesie!

In addition to sewing and crafting baby clothes, I tried my hand at painting last month. And, I'm not talking about painting walls...I've done that for years. I wanted some cute little animals to go on the nursery wall that would match Peanut's bedding. But, I couldn't find anything. Not to worry, I would just make them myself. Even though both my husband AND best friend laughed when they saw them, I think they are okay enough to put up. And, don't even get me started on how frustrating they were to do. Note to self: I am NOT an accomplished arteest!


Her bedding

Notice how these pictures are much smaller than the onesie pictures? HAHA.

26 March 2009

I Wish I Felt Like Blogging...

But, I don't! If I had something really exciting to write about, maybe I would, but I can't imagine anyone else is interested in hearing about how I just put together the Pack N Play that my brother sent us (minus the changing pad that I just can't seem to figure out on my own) OR how mine and David's hospital bags are finally packed. (Well, minus some new granny undies I'm going to get today when we run errands in SLO.)

About the most exciting thing going on in our little bubble right now is the results show for American Idol tonight. And, I'm afraid I might offend some readers if I say who I want in our bottom three, so I'm going to opt out of blogging about that. (Readers, post away who you want to see say Adios though!)

Instead, I'm going to prop my feet up on the couch for the next 30 - 45 minutes before we head up to SLO and read Ina May Gaskin's (HIPPY) Guide to Childbirth. No, Hippy isn't actually in the title, but that's pretty much what the book is about....hippies giving birth. And, the only picture of a happy lady pushing out a baby is about 8 years overdue for a waxing....

'Nuff said.

20 March 2009

She's Going to be a Dancer or a Gymnast

So, here's a short video of Peanut moving around in my belly. She was pretty much doing this all night last night. I know it's not the prettiest thing, so if you don't want to see my bare belly, don't hit play.


video

17 March 2009

It's a Heat Wave in Nipomo!

The last few days have been absolutely gorgeous here in Nipomo...not that it's much of a difference from most of the year, but the temperature has risen a few degrees and the sun is shining brightly.

We have taken advantage of these days and have been eating lunch outside on our back porch. It's been extremely nice getting some sun on my pasty face, and I feel like I look less bloated as a result of it.

Magnum was the first one to buckle under the heat of the sun today and decided it was much better under the safety of the UV protected windows. The fetus and I were next, lasting only about 15 minutes. David braved it about 5 more and decided that it was time to get the sun on his back instead of his face.

Clearly, Magnum's bed was just NOT good enough...he chose, instead, to take up two of our blankets!


I miss Indiana, but not so much on days like this!

16 March 2009

My Husband's New Idol? Evil Knievel

Dave and I took what I hope is our last trip before the baby is born this past weekend. We had a small installation at Berkeley and decided to make a weekend trip out of it visiting Dave's buddies in Palo Alto. READ: Dave needed some guy time to act like a teenager again before diving head first into his role of Papa.

The installation was great...it was a small job and all I had to do was cut open the boxes and then break them down after they were emptied. The weather was beautiful on Friday, too, so it was so nice to be outside for most of the installation. We headed down to Palo Alto after spending the afternoon strolling through Berkeley and grabbing some food. Friday night, Dave went out with a couple of guys and his best man, Soudy, and I stayed in watching hours of X-Files. I got to lay down in front of the tv and eat Cap'n Crunch, so it was a super Friday night for me!

Dave and I did a little shopping on Saturday (I finally got a diaper caddy), and then headed back to Soudy's. For David, that's when the real fun began! Soudy has a Yamaha XT 250 (motorcycle) and decided that David needed to learn how to ride it. After about 10 minutes, Dave was a pro. After about 45 minutes, he was a dare devil! And, after about 60 minutes, he wanted one of his own.

David, starting to get a little cocky on the bike.

Meet Soudy, the man who will be financially responsible for our baby should anything happen to David while riding the bike!

So, turns out, during his bonding time with Soudy Saturday night, Soudy offered up his bike for Dave to borrow for the next 6 weeks or so to "practice on." And, by practice on, I mean PLAY WITH.

Sunday morning, Dave asked me as we were loading the van if it was alright for us to take the bike back. Fine with me as long as he doesn't kill himself while riding it. What I didn't know was that it would take us FIVE and HALF hours to get tie straps, a hitch, a trailer, and then get the bike loaded.

The good news was that I didn't have to drive the van/trailer combo back to Nipomo. But, let me tell you, four hours in the car is not so comfortable at 8 months pregnant.

He does look pretty cute by that bike. Yep, that's my Baby Daddy!

As soon as we got home, our neighbor Bill came out with the BIGGEST smile on his face. I guess he used to own a few motorcycles and was just thrilled that David has one available to him now.
Boys and their toys! Thank goodness, we are starting with a girl!

13 March 2009

He's Even More Handsome in Person

My brother got this caricature done tonight at an Ostrich Festival in Arizona with my parents and it was just too great not to post. Happy Belated 29th Birthday, Ryan!


I'm thinking that beautifully manicured fingernail on top of the picture belongs to my mother!

12 March 2009

My Butt is a Shelf on Which to Store Things

I have about one more month to go until our baby girl is set to arrive (deep breaths, Amanda, deep breaths) and for the most part am still feeling pretty good. Everyone has said to beware of the last several weeks because things can get really uncomfortable. I'm starting to see a few signs of that, but for the most part I feel good.

A couple of nights ago, I could NOT get comfortable. I don't know if it had to do with the fact that David and I switched sides of the bed or if it was the start of a month of restless nights, but I tossed and turned relentlessly. I also woke up with an extremely sore lower back. As a result, I took a 2 hour nap yesterday afternoon and then did various yoga positions while Dave fixed dinner for us. While the yoga positions made my back feel better, most of them involved my tail-end being higher than my head and shoulders (such a great visual image for you all), and thus, the afternoon snack I had eaten rested nicely in my chest. Ahhhh, the heartburn. Seriously though, it wasn't too bad yet, and I've been trying to combat the problem by drinking lots of water. Uh huh...can you see where I am going with this? My bladder, which is now compressed by a 5 pound baby (who, I swear is enjoying playing Whack-A-Mole with it), is taking a beating. But, I really don't have room to complain because I can still move around and if/when it gets bad, I'm able to kick back on the couch and put my feet up and relax.

I went to the doctor yesterday and she was able to tell that the baby was head down...something I had suspected for awhile. Our hope is that she will stay that way for the final weeks.

I have been reading up as much as possible on the actual birthing experience. Up until recently, I wasn't able to do that. I would read books all the way to the point of delivery and then put them away, but I've come to the realization that the Labor Fairy isn't going to point her magic wand at my belly and present me with our daughter, so I better suck it up and prepare myself.

Some of you may know that David and I want to try and have as natural a childbirth as possible. I know it seems really crazy, but it's something we'd like to try. Our hospital is really supportive of it and so we feel like we've made a good choice there. We can't predict how it will turn out, so we are open to all possibilities, but we have been learning about various pain management strategies that don't involve drugs. The benefits on the baby are enough motivation for me to try and deal with the pain for as long as possible, and hopefully that will be the entire delivery. Keep your fingers crossed for us, or at least David because I may try to make him feel as miserable as I do during the labor process.

Here's my latest picture...if it's any indication of how our belly shots from Sunday turned out, I'm SERIOUSLY scared. You'll be lucky to get a 9 month shot out of me. I don't think it helps anything that the shirt I am wearing is a non-maternity shirt or that we are in a hurry to get out of here. Oy, EXCUSES, EXCUSES!

10 March 2009

Babies, Babies, and More Babies!!!

Springtime is approaching, and I suppose with it comes lots of babies. It's been so fun being pregnant right now because I have several friends who are pregnant at the same time. One of my best friends (and matron of honor), Tara, was set to deliver about a month ahead of me, so every couple of weeks, I would get a warning of what to expect next in my pregnancy. I knew I was going to wake up with a charlie horse in my calf about a week before that started happening. I've been really lucky that most of the little ailments that Tara had gotten have still not hit (although I am starting to get little hints of heartburn).


Last Friday, I talked to Tara on the phone as she was waiting for her weekly appointment with the doctor and instructed her that she was to call me the second she left so I could hear the doctor's report. She called about an hour later telling me that she was at the hospital and that her water had broken while she was in with the doctor. I know she was a little panicked because she is such a planner! Let me just tell you that this girl was the BEST person to partner up with in college for projects because she was always so organized and on the ball with everything. The one thing that probably drove her the most crazy about this pregnancy was not knowing the when and how of the labor. And, here she was, 9 days before her due date, probably expecting to go back home after the doctor's appointment and relax for a few more days before her baby arrived. Too bad he had other plans for her! (Haha, and I bet it won't be the first time!)

Anyway, Cassius Merrill Moter the FIFTH aka Quinn, arrived a few hours later and is absolutely beautiful. Both baby and mom are doing great and I am really bummed that I'm not able to be there to meet him in person yet or to give her a giant hug and tell her how proud I am of her. I'm so happy for Tara and Cash and am looking forward to the next stage in our lives when she preps me on all the things to expect with the baby milestones.

The very handsome Moter boys!

He may have his daddy's name, but I think he's got his momma's face! Oh, he's just too precious!

05 March 2009

A Moment of Wellness

Whenever David and I go to Santa Barbara to visit Michele, we almost always stop into her Aveda store. David loves to go in there and ask either Michele, or one of the other ladies working, for a "Moment of Wellness." This "moment" usually involves some tea, smelling some special aromas, and getting a nice massage. Because we haven't been down to Santa Barbara in awhile, David is asking me to give him some treatments here at home.

He's so wonderful about rubbing my feet almost nightly, so when he asked for a Moment the other night, I couldn't say no. We pulled out the most wonderful smelling Aveda Hand Relief lotion and I went to work giving him a nice neck and shoulder massage. And, he was extra lucky, because Baby Girl decided to help out. She was moving all around and massaging his lower back.

I read somewhere that her activity level is supposed to start slowing down because there is less room in there for her, but that doesn't really seem to be holding true. She has been extremely active the last several days, and as much as it can sometimes drive me crazy (like at 3 in the morning), I really will be sad to see it slow down. As much as I am so excited to meet her, I think it will be a strange feeling for me to feel a little "empty" inside after she's born.

Have any mothers out there experienced that same feeling??

04 March 2009

Insomnia Has Struck Again! So, Here's a Novel.

I woke up at 1:45 this morning with my unborn child pressing down on my ever-shrinking bladder, and haven't been able to fall back asleep since. At 3:15, after tossing and turning and telling my husband that I couldn't sleep (and hearing him mumble "Don't Sleep" to the tune of No Doubt's "Don't Speak"), I decided to just get up and come out to the family room.
I realized I haven't blogged about our AWESOME weekend, so hey, maybe there will be a wonderful outcome from my lack of sleep. And, maybe, just maybe, there's a single serving box of Froot Loops with my name on it as my small reward.

My parents got into town on Friday afternoon...I had spent the entire morning cleaning the house and doing my best to remove all of the Michele hairs from our bathroom. Our contractor was here working on the shelves and building our storage bins, so it was a busy day at the Michelson household. I was SO excited to see my parents, and not just because their trunk was loaded down with bags of baby gifts! I haven't seen them since Christmas, and that's just too long to go without seeing them, in my opinion.

They had a nice rest while David finished up work (and took a 90 minute nap of his own) and we all pitched in on making our beloved Kentucky Kernel fried chicken dinner. Oh, and that was followed up the next morning by my new favorite breakfast of ham and cheese souffles. We spent the rest of the day on Saturday running errands and getting things ready for the shower.

Sunday morning, Michele showed up early and the girls headed up to SLO to pick up the baby shower cake. And, can I just say, I have the MOST AMAZING HUSBAND AND FATHER!! We gave them a little honey-do list while we were gone and they crossed each thing off the list and then some! We got back and finished setting up just in time for people to start rolling in.


Um, can I just say how much I LOVE The Cakery?! They did our wedding cake, and this vanilla chiffon cake with raspberry filling and raspberry buttercream icing was to die for! Forget the Froot Loops, I'm going for leftover cake!

David and I had decided that we wanted to do a couple's shower for our baby shower. David has been so involved (obviously from the get-go) in the pregnancy, so it was only right for him to be a part of the celebration as well. We set up the cornhole and borrowed our neighbor's portable dartboard for the guys, and after torturing them with a game, turned them loose on the backyard. It was great having some alone time with the ladies, and as one friend commented, "There was beer and not a lot of placenta/after birth talk, so I was happy." I don't think we could have asked for a better summary to our party! :)


Yes, they had to work for their cornhole time! Here, the guys had to blow up a balloon and stuff it under their shirt and then tie their shoes without popping the balloon. I said they should try filling it with sand and then cleaning the house with it under their shirt...see how easy they think that is!

Our baby definitely made out like a bandit! Thanks SO MUCH to everyone for all of the fabulous gifts. She is going to smell so good and be so clean, thanks to all of the bath stuff. And, she FINALLY has some toys to play with. And, it was so great to hear all of the encouraging words from our friends and family and to know that they are supportive of us. (Thanks Michele for the 18 years of free babysitting!!!)

Sunday night, we put my dad back to work. (Have I mentioned anything about the list of projects David and I are making for him when he and my mom come to help after the baby is born???) The nursery, like I've mentioned, is a work in progress. There were four very large speaker wires coming out of the wall in ever corner of the room...right at eye level. The room is wired for surround sound...a feature we have never used. My thought was to just shove those wires back in the wall and cover up the holes, but apparently doing that means that the surround sound option is lost forever....so pretty much a non-option for David. His brilliant (and less than aesthetically pleasing) idea was to cover the wires with switch plates. No thank you. He and my dad finally came up with the idea of covering them with small banana plugs. So, they spent the evening cutting into the wall and spackling it back up. And, thanks to an accidental experiment by my father and his water bottle, we are assured that the Moonlight Slumber mattress our baby will be sleeping on IS really waterproof! We closed the night with a round of euchre and I'll be darned if David and my mom didn't win AGAIN. Seriously, everytime they partner up at euchre, they kick my dad's and my tail.

Monday was my dad's birthday, and instead of making him work on various household projects, I decided to chauffer him around to Target, Babies R Us, and French Hospital. He's such a trooper! My parents got the grand tour of our hospital and made plans for their arrival into town. When David got off work, we went out for a nice dinner at...Red Lobster. I'm not sure what it is about our family, but we sure do love our chain restaurants. Maybe it's these three words that do it for us: Cheddar Bay Biscuits! Back at the homestead, it was game time again. I decided to partner with my mom for a little Music Scene It, and sure enough, she is the good luck charm. We came from behind and won the game with a little Simon and Garfunkel knowledge.

Unfortunately, my parents had to get back to Arizona so Dad could compete in a club championship, so Tuesday morning they took off for the long drive back. Can I help it if my dad is the Tiger Woods of the senior citizen "compound"??

It was so great having them around, even if it was only for a few days. They are such an inspiration to me and David and we always have so much fun together. If David and I are even half the parents that mine are, our baby is in for a lifetime of love.

Thank you, again, Mom and Dad for ALL that you have done for us and for all the help and support you have already given us with our daughter. We love you, and can't wait to see you in less than 6 weeks!