Blog Archive

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

This year we had Thanksgiving at our house in Davis for the first time. Our family friend, Gayla, and her daughter, Amanda, joined us from Livermore.

Normally I do all the cooking for big meals like this (except for the gravy, which m dad always helps me do right before we eat). This year I knew that in order to get it all done and ready to eat at a civilized hour I'd have to do a lot of the prep work beforehand. So on Monday while Eddie took a long nap I chopped all the veggies for the stuffing, cleaned and trimmed the green beans and made the dressing for Dave's cold bean salad, baked the yams, cooked up the wild rice for my pilaf, got the jars of wild mushrooms defrosting for the stuffing, gravy, and pilaf, dusted the living and dining rooms, and cleaned the guest bathroom. Whew.

On Thursday we were able to get everything done and ready to eat by about 5:30pm. The biggest help was that I made sure to clean as we went--something I always do. But this time I took it a step further and made sure the dish rack and dish washer were empty before we sat down to eat so that it would be super easy to clean up after.

Like last year we bought a heritage turkey and it was worth every penny (nevermind that my mom paid for it!). Knowing how good it was last year, we opted for a 17 pounder instead of a measly 12 pounder like last year (there were no left overs last year). Unfortunately, I didn't think about whether or not the larger size bird would fit into the roaster oven. The lid didn't quite close all the way...but Dave came to my rescue and mounted a brick on the handle to keep it down.
A couple of years ago my dad and I found a delicious olive bread recipe and we made a double batch. I couldn't resist taking this picture. =) was a great meal! Eddie was such a good boy, considering we didn't start eating until his nightly "fussy time" (around 6:30pm). He turned 15 weeks old on Thanksgiving and I haven't eaten a full meal straight through that whole time. I guess I won't be able to for another several years after he and his future siblings are old enough to eat at the table unassisted like the good mannered children I hope they will be. Sigh...

My mom did a nice job setting and decorating the table. This year I'm thankful for having another holiday with my mom, for my darling baby who was apparently already in the works during last year's meal but we didn't know it yet, and for my hard working/loving/supportive/handsome husband.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mama Pudge

I've always heard that nursing moms lose weight more quickly than those who don't breastfeed. It is either a myth or I'm impatient because I've only lost 5 pounds since one month postpartum. So I'm still 20 pounds more than before I got pregnant. And that is just not okay.

It looks like I have a beer gut. Since I've always had a slim waist (very hourglass shaped, too) this gut grosses me out. There's a new country song out now called "Rockin' the Beer Gut" and I cringe whenever I hear it.

Perhaps I'm imagining it, but I feel like I'm eating the same amount of food per day (and type of food) as before I got pregnant so caloric input doesn't seem to be my issue. It must be caloric output.

My biggest issue now that Eddie is here is exercise. Dave and I were SUPER busy working on the house for the last 2 years--all the housework and yardwork (and biking around town instead of driving) is where I got most of my exercise. Since August the most I've done is walk to/from downtown--only about 3 miles roundtrip.

I need to start running or something because we have run out of major projects around the house and yards that require manual labor (for the time being).

Since my real estate has moved north after giving birth, none of my old exercise tops fit anymore. So I went online last week and asked Google what the best sports bras are for big-breasted women. After reading a bunch of reviews and looking up YouTube videos about how to measure yourself for the right bra size I finally ordered an Enell 100 Sports Bra. I'm excited for it to arrive so I can start jogging with Eddie in the jogging stroller. It'll fee really good to work my body again.

I've never been a big fan of jogging but since I can't take Eddie to the gym to use the elliptical machine jogging is the next best thing.

Before that bra arrives I need to figure out what to do about my glasses while running. I'm too blind to not wear them at all but they slide down my nose when I get sweaty and it drives me crazy. Contacts have never worked well for me since the astigmatism in my right eye is so bad even the contacts made especially for astigmatism don't fit right (I've literally tried half a dozen different sizes/brands with two different eye doctors over the last 8 years). I might try to find some sort of band to wear on the ear pieces of the glasses that will hold them tight on my head--at this point I don't want to spend money on prescription sport glasses so I want to make my normal glasses work.

I also need to look for some cheap weights so I can tone my arms--Eddie would work instead of weights but he tends to spit up all over me when I lift him up and down a lot. My best childhood friend, Dyani, is getting married in April and I'll be damned if I ruin her wedding pictures with flabby arms.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What the %@*# is the world coming to?

My green Volvo wagon has been broken and in pieces in my dad's garage for over 8 weeks. EIGHT. WEEKS.

Not having a car really sucks when you have a baby and the only other car in your household spends most of it's time 3 hours away from your house.

It is true that I spent 2 weeks on the east coast and therefore didn't need a car and another two weeks where my mom was traveling and I got to use her car. But that still leaves four weeks without my own car. One week I was up in Gualala with Dave and had our Saturn sedan to use. But getting Eddie's baby seat in and out of the back middle seat of the Saturn (a very tiny car) is really, really not good for my lower back, my sanity, or my vow to stop cursing.

Having weighed all our options and made countless pro/con lists, Dave and I decided to look into purchasing a new vehicle for me. We can't afford a new-new car so we're looking at slightly used ones.

I'm still ashamed to admit it, but we're looking into buying a....minivan.


As a rule I don't like minivans for two reasons:

1. The women who drive them are usually bossy soccer moms who are terrible drivers
2. They are ugly

But when my car first died, Dave said that if we resorted to buying a new (used) vehicle, we should get a minivan since, "Eddie's not going to get any smaller, we have two dogs, and we'll have more kids before we know it."

I laughed and rolled my eyes and thought, "Yeah right. We're never getting a minivan."

But when I told this to my dad he said, "Well, you know Dave's right." Whenever my dad and Dave agree on something like this I always know they are right. And that sucks in this case.

We still don't have a vehicle for me but hopefully we will soon.

A year ago I didn't know I was pregnant but would have maybe believed someone if they said that in one year I'd have a child. But I would never have believed it if they said I'd be seriously considering purchasing my own minivan.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Eddie's First Halloween

We had a relaxed Halloween this year--no crazy parties, no elaborate costumes, and no trick-or-treating for us. In the morning Dave and I took Eddie to a local pumpkin patch to pick out some pumpkins for us to carve and display on our porch. He was awake and such a good, non-fussy boy while we were there. Everyone kept saying what a cutie he was!After carving our pumpkins we did a photo shoot out front to document our pumpkins.
We made sure to buy edible pumpkins so I could cook them up afterward. Last year I cooked up a HUGE pumpkin and made some delicious pumpkin curry soup from nfortunately, some punk kid stomped Dave's pumpkin while we were gone so I couldn't cook it. Before we left the house I put out a bowl of candy for any kids that would stop by. I think the kid was probably upset that we'd run out of candy and stomped it as revenge or something. Oh well.Even before Eddie was born, Dave and I knew we wanted to dress him up as a Chipotle burrito--basically swaddled in foil. (If you haven't had the pleasure of eating a Chipotle burrito--specifically the barbacoa beef--you don't know what a great thing you are missing.)

If you go to Chipotle after 6pm on Halloween dressed in foil (or as any part of a burrito) you get a free burrito. Since we had no other plans other than giving out candy from our house, Dave and I decided to dress up and stand in line. It was too cold and the line was too long to hold Eddie in a swaddle of foil for our 1.5 hour wait--so he was a bottle of Tabsco sauce instead. (It wasn't elaborate at all since we really just stuck a Tabasco sauce emblem on his blanket while he slept in his car seat.Dave and I didn't want to spend any money on outfits so we just used our normal clothes to dress up as an avocado (Dave) and a Chipotle employee (me). I wore a giant foil bow and earrings, too.The line wasn't so bad--there were tons of college and high school students in line (some in very revealing costumes) and we had fun just eavesdropping on their conversations. Have you recently heard a normal hour-long conversation between two 13 year old boys? It is amusing, enlightening, and a little shocking.

I can't believe Eddie will be big enough to go trick-or-treating at a few houses next year...I think I will dress him up as a pink cow udder and let him sit in his cow print stroller. Maybe I'll be a farmer so I can push the stroller around...we'll see.

Monday, November 16, 2009

East Coast Trip

Whew...for the last two weeks Eddie and I were traveling in the Northeast. Our first week was spent in Pittsburgh, PA for a soils conference where I presented a poster on my research. My second week was spent in upstate NY with Edward and his roommate. We had loads of fun and I'm so glad we went. Although parts were tiring (like holding him on the plane for 8 straight hours) it was fun to get out of the house and visit with people.

All I have to say about traveling alone with a baby is:

  • I'm glad I breastfeed
  • Unpack a few diapers and wipes right when you get seated and put them into the seat-back pocket for easy access
  • Don't worry about other people holding him so you can use the bathroom--it is a plane so the baby can't be kidnapped!
  • Before boarding, buy a bottle of water with a sport top so you can drink with one hand and not need a tray table to set the drink on
  • If you get a drink from the flight attendant, get it without ice so you can gulp it down quickly and stash your cup in the seat pocket if your baby gets squirmy (as mine does) and you suddenly need both hands to hold him
  • The younger the baby, the easier it is to fly with them--younger babies = more time spent sleeping
When I flew into Pittsburgh Edward's friend, Teresa, picked me up at the airport very late at night. I'd never met her and found it very nice of her to offer to pick me up. She even brought me a pack-n-play to borrow for Eddie! She drove me to Cara's house--she and Edward's friend. Cara was out of town on a business trip for the week so Eddie and I had the whole house to ourselves. It was great to stay in a house rather than a hotel since we were able to settle in a little more.

Not having a car to use (or wanting one since driving in snow wouldn't be fun for me) meant that I had to use public transportation. The Pittsburgh "T" is a mix between a light rail train, a subway, and a bus. Strollers cannot be taken onto the T unless they are folded up so every time I had to board, I had to carry the diaper bag on my back, the folded stroller in one hand, and the car seat in the other. Then once on, I had to put something down so I could insert my dollars into the machine for payment. Whew. Luckily Pittsburgh isn't a very fast-paced city so I didn't feel super rushed and everyone around me was very helpful in giving me space and directions.

The conference was pretty good--supposedly there were about 2000 soil scientists at the conference over the course of a week. My poster session wasn't until Wednesday so I spent Tuesday looking at posters and attending lectures. Lots of people from school were there and I got to see a bunch of them.Eddie was such a good boy during the event--he either slept in the stroller or was otherwise quiet while I held him. If he needed to nurse I could use the family bathrooms that had chairs in them (and changing tables!).

Only about 6 people came to my poster to chat with me about my research. And actually that's a pretty good number of folks. I'd been warned that most people would only come by to chat about my professors. In my case a few people came by just to see Eddie and that was fine by me.

Edward was supposed to drive over to Pittsburgh from his place in Troy, NY on Wednesday but he dislocated his right shoulder during soccer the night before. He couldn't drive his stick shift, consequently, not to mention that he had to take morphine for the pain. Instead, he flew into town and we hung out at Cara's house for a few days before we both flew back to his house. Since he's been hanging out in Pittsburgh with various friends recently, he's gotten to know a lot of the city's history so he took me on a (cold and wet) walking tour before we left.For the next week we hung out at his apartment. We tried to take Eddie to the big Black Friday hockey game at RPI but the noise terrified him. Poor little fella. He did better at the intramural game Edward played in since there weren't many people hooting and hollering in the stands.Here's Big E with Edward and his "international uncles," Nadeem and Rolando (Edward's friends at school):At one point we tried to fix the shower in the apartment because it has always been too hot and had very little water pressure. Edward crawled inside the kitchen cabinet where the valves were and discovered that there was no cold water running in the line at all. Then when he turned the hot valve down something must have broken because he couldn't get any water to flow when he turned it back on. So for the next few days we had no shower at all. Luckily Eddie was able bathe in the sink and Edward just showered at his colleague's house. I had showered that morning and since I never get stinky doing without a shower was fine with me. Haha. =) I did finally call a plumber, who was able to fix the problem by replacing the valves and then cleaning everything out. He admitted that he didn't quite know what he actually did to fix the problem and that whoever installed that shower didn't know what they were doing.

Toward the end of my visit we drove to Brooklyn to stay with my aunt, uncle, and cousin for a night. When we got there we relaxed for a bit before going to Prospect Park for a walk and to let my cousin do some fishing until my uncle got home from work. It was super cold outside but we had fun.The next morning Edward and I took Eddie on the NYC subway (which allows stroller to stroll right on--nice!) so we could meet Donovan and his boyfriend, Greg, for lunch. I was sooooooooooooo happy that we got to eat Indian food. I loooooooooooooove Indian food! Donovan took us to his apartment where he lives with a girl from our hometown. It is quite a steal for Manhattan--it is huge and they pay only a little more than Dave and I did for our rental house in Davis three years ago.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Say Cheese!

I've been so busy lately that I haven't had time to post anything. Until I can post something with a little more substance (i.e., words), here are some pictures of my precious babe. I took these pictures while singing songs to him. You can tell by the direction of his eyes that he's look at me while I held the camera off to the side so it wouldn't distract him.

Every night after he's in his jammies and in a dry diaper, I prop him up on a pillow and sing to him. All the songs are interactive for him since I move his arms and legs to music. Since I don't know many kid songs, we stick to:
  • The wheels on the bus
  • The ants go marching
  • The itsy bitsy spider
  • Twinkle, twinkle little star
  • ABC song
Eddie coos, talks, sings, and wriggles like crazy when we do this. By the end he's fussy (read: tired) and ready for milk. So he nurses and then falls asleep.When Dave is going to put him to sleep he sings "99 bottles of beer on the wall." I can't tell if this is a good thing or not, but it totally works. We can gauge just how tired he is by the number of bottles Dave sings to before he falls asleep. I'd prefer that Dave not sing to our baby about alcohol...but at this point I'm just thankful that Dave can get him to go to sleep at all (since I usually depend on nursing him to sleep).

Good heavens, this kid is just too cute!