Tuesday, June 30, 2009
It made a very intense strawberry flavor, and I'm not sure that I preferred it. It did seem very, very decadent... almost like the expensive kind of strawberry jam. So, its a one thumb up, mostly because it was much more time consuming without the benefit of being ultra-way more delicious. I will keep it in my recipe box in case I need a change of pace in the future!
Fresh Strawberry Pie
1 baked 9-inch pie shell, made with short pie pastry
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
2 quarts picked-over strawberries, hulled
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
Put the water in a glass measuring cup or small bowl and sprinkle with the gelatin.
Let soften 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, take 3 cups of the smaller and/or less attractive strawberries and purée in the food processor or blender with the sugar and cornstarch.
Pour the strawberry mixture into a saucepan, add the lemon juice and salt, and set over low heat.
Stirring constantly, cook the mixture until it comes to a boil.
Continue to cook and stir until the purée is thick and transparent.
Stir in the softened gelatin and immediately remove from the heat. Let cool.Slice the remaining strawberries in half and add to the cooled purée. Gently fold together and pour into the baked and cooled pie shell. Use a rubber spatula to smooth the top.Chill the pie for at least 2 hours and serve chilled with whipped cream.Best if made the same day it is served.
I'll start with these statements:
- This book has been the most useful and informative book I've read all year.
- This book is the best non-fiction writing I've read in the last two or three years.
- This is the one book I wish I'd bought instead of checked out from the library, and I plan to sell most of the other titles I purchased about pregnancy/birth after this book
- This will be my top recommendation to anyone looking to read about birth/babies.
- I'm planning to re-read it in the 37th week of pregnancy, even though I read it during the 30th week.
- I was a total know it all at childbirth class because this book was more informative than the class.
Pretty impressed? I hope you are!
Here are a few things that I found most helpful in this book:
- The author does not present a biased view favoring home births, unmedicated births, or midwifery, although I think her personal position probably does favor these ideals.
- The author explains medical interventions and procedures in detail, as well as risks and benefits for each.
- The other offers concrete ideas and solutions for complications with birthing and ways to communicate with health care professionals to assert your own wishes.
- The author describes many techniques for pain management, most of which don't involve medication. However, she does describe the medications one can use, pointing out benefits and risks. I felt like I could have a natural childbirth after reading her calm plans for coping with pain.
- The author calms you down about birth, "Labor will end. It has begun and ended for millions of women for millions of years". So many of her ideas are soothing, and the absolute opposite of panic-inducing labor videos I've seen.
- Several first hand accounts/stories are sprinkled in through the text. The overall theme to the stories are: its not how I planned, but I was prepared for changes, so it was okay. The baby was born and I felt comfortable with my decision making process. They were absolutely NOT horror stories.
- Very little time is spent talking about how to do pregnancy perfectly or how to breastfeed and parent perfectly. It seems like most of the books I read about birth and birthing philosophy wasted my time repeating the same info about those topics.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Cases in point:
1) The sight it must have been to see me wrangling a watermelon from the cart into my car, my bigger than watermelon sized belly getting in the way. Hello, America's Funniest Videos
2) Driving away from Taco Bell drive thru after paying, but not getting my food. I had to go back into the store and respond to "How'd ya drive away and forget your tacos? What made you remember five minutes later?" Duh, I was hungry!
3) Spending a significant time selecting groceries at the store, careful not to forget an item. Upon checking out, I realized I'd left my wallet in my other purse, so I had to drive home to go get the purse with the wallet.
EDIT/UPDATE: Here's another one that happened just this afternoon at Central Dairy. I dropped my ice cream cone in the middle of a somewhat busy street. I did go in and admit my blunder, and they gave me a new one. It was tasty, and yet I didn't feel too embarrassed to request on after the things that happened yesterday!
I'm sure there will be more in the next few weeks, until the baby is born and blood flow can come to my head instead of being diverted to my uterus!
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I loved to plan dates, usually for other people. I used to do it as a small past time in college when I worked with lots of undergrads or people who weren't familiar with the area. So I know which grocery stores have good take out, where to bring picnics to the park, approximate show times at theaters, where to find info on downtown festivals, etc.
Lately though, I haven't put much energy into planning dates. Lately as in the last two years. For some reason, date night has become go out to dinner night. And I always have a hard time deciding what I am in the mood to eat...
I think this is because I am much more comfortable with my husband and our relationship. Its not quite the same feeling as mentally prepping for the date, getting dolled up, and being picked up. Back then I really didn't focus on the meal, the location... just the hope and sparkle of the relationship.
Now, I appreciate the food quality, the neighborhood we are in, the colors of the park we go to, the surroundings. I notice the "date" part more than "my date". I am not sure if this is better or worse or just different... but its how it is!
I think when we have the baby, I'll have two different sorts of date nights. a ME focused night (my favorite places, smells, flavors) and an US couple night (where the details don't matter, its all about hand holding and gazing into your lover's eyes).
So... back to the question of ideal dates:
I prefer afternoon dates, which may or may not end at sun down. I really enjoy going to a park, a lake, and doing some sort of activity, such as pretending to fish, taking photos of flowers, finding a nice park bench, etc. I also enjoy when we bring our own food because then we can take all our time and sit on a nice blanket while enjoying each other's company. I know that if I lived near a beach, I'd prefer the stereotypical "long walks on the beach at sunset", especially if they involved walking to some lounge chairs and a chilled glass of wine. Ooooh la la.
I haven't been faithful answering your questions from last month's Q and A posts... sorry if you've just been dying to know! I am still thinking about the answers to a few of those thoughful questions. If you have other questions, you can respond on this post with them and I'll come up with an answer!
Saturday, June 27, 2009
I'll let you know what I include and how I organize these various soundtracks for my life.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Husby and I are talking about ducking out on it early if its too boring. I've seen so much Discovery Health Channel, and he has some very specific questions. Once they are answered. we might be outie.
Otherwise, its quite the long day. Full of placenta and meconium talk.
Sounds like a real blast, eh??
I'm just back from the hospital visiting friends and their newborn son. I had to post this picture before I uploaded or edited any of the others... he is just so lovely!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Confession: I just didn't want to be a "chick lit" kind of girl. I wanted to be a "serious reader". Does that make me a book snob? Yeah, I guess. Enter reading books that are deemed classics and could teach me something amazingly new about the world. Bleh. A zillion non-fiction books later, and I need a calm, somewhat predictable, frivolous read!
Oh yes, this book was completed in four days, with a well-placed day of reflection in between. I even posted my reflections mid-book, which was helpful for me as a reader and as a shopper/consumer/budgeter.
I think that the author's website is charming and provides a sufficient teaser for the novel here. I won't reiterate the details, except for the fact that the main character's name is Rebecca, but she goes by Becky most often. My MIL is the same way. I think Rebecca is such a lovely name, so formal and elegant. (It reminds me of a favorite novel of the same name by D. DuMauier and of Charlotte York's special nickname for her body, but I love it nonetheless).
I also won't tell you much about the plot, because now that the movie version has been released, many readers have seen the movie. However, I think the movie encompasses a few more plot lines than just the first book.
Oh, yeah... this book comes with sequels! I love sequels, probably because they are so much easier to read than starting afresh... which is actually a literacy teaching technique... young readers do so well with Magic Treehouse and Goosebumps because they are familiar with the author's format and the characters, which makes the reading for comprehension easier!
If I were rating this novel, it would get a solid B. I found it much easier to come back to and read an extra chapter than planned as compared to similar genre novels (Sex in the City, Bridget Jones to name a few), but really lacked description of physical characteristics of main characters and settings. Instead, it relied on personal narrative and dialogue to tel the story.
I'd had the book on my shelf for over a year, but never felt motivated to read it.
I am glad I did.
I reminded me of Law and Order: SUV meets a Christian talk show. It was easy to read, but not as boring-easy-to-read as most Chick Lit books. The plot moved quickly, and the author's use of personal narrative was really effective.
This book focused on answering the question: "Why does God let a bad thing happen to a person, and how can one use that bad thing for good?".
I have reflected on this question for the last three weeks. I have had some bad things happen in my life, and rather than assuming victim mentality, I try to be proactive and reach out to others. I try to use experiences to learn about myself.
This book took a modern day character and compared her to the life Mary Magdalene might have led in a contemporary society. Probably, Mary's life in Jesus's time was just as unfortunate. I liked that this book challenged me to go to the Bible and read about Mary, as well as to think of Bible "characters" as more than characters in a book, but as historical figures. Real people.I have never read Christian fiction that I've enjoyed, save for Healing Waters and Healing Stones, but this novel is the exception! I checked out two of her non-series books at the library, A Thousand Tomorrows and On Every Side. I'll let you know if I liked them as much as this book!
If you read this book, I'd love to hear what you thought about the book's main theme. And also what you will do with the challenge it presents:
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I read this on Mindy's blog, and while I was reading, I was mentally filling in my own answers. So here's an exercise on self-awareness. The faster you can answer, the better you know yourself (I think).
My ex ....
is getting married this summer. That chapter of my life will be CLOSED FOREVER! Hurray!
my OB doctor office. They are so kind to me.
People would say that I am.....
going to be a good mom.
I don't understand....
why they say that, since I have no prior experience or qualifications! I've held a newborn like two times.
When I wake up in the morning....
I have to have help rolling over and out of the bed!
a few friendships for stupid reasons.
really difficult to plan.
My past taught me...
to ask for help, even if it feels uncomfortable to do so.
I get annoyed when...
people use poor grammar.
fun to plan!
I were going to a dinner party wearing a new dress and heels tomorrow.
Dogs and cats...
probably won't be my pets, ever. I am not an animal person. I am a people person.
My childhood pets...
All died! And I didn't spend that much time playing with them.
I will attend water aerobics class in the morning.
I have a low tolerance for...
racism or intolerant speech.
If I had a million dollars...
I'd have enormous Christmas parties. And never work at a non-philanthropy or non-creative job, ever.
I'm terrified of...
tornadoes. And birds.
I've come to realize...
there are no surprises for God. He already knows what is going to happen, so I can worry, or not. It doesn't matter in the scheme of things!
I am listening to....
my husband talk on the phone to his mom.
to his mom on the phone less than he does.
My best friend(s)...
moved away. But still are involved in my life.
My first kiss...
was super intense and lovely.
is the opposite of selfish.
like living with your best friend and having a team mate.
Somewhere, someone is ....
I'll always be...
The last time I really cried was...
after a friend lost a baby and it triggered my memories.
My cell phone...
is dropped on a frequent basis.
Before I go to bed...
I usually read.
My middle name...
Right now, I am thinking...
this blog post is really a journal entry for me, and probably bores you!
saw my baby on the ultrasound. He was sleeping and hand his hand smashed onto his face. So cute.
I really want to...
return to my career just as effective as when I left it.
My relationship with my parents...
has changed so much since I got married to my husband. For the better.
My favorite pictures...
are ones that we take ourselves of ourselves. Or of other people looking joyful.
along with the radio, but not along with my iPod.
I were a crayon...
I would hate to get hot and worn down. I'd rather be a magenta in a brand new box, rather than a well used blue.
Someday I want to travel...
with my entire family to one place for vacation.
I am wearing...
my husband's gym shorts because they have a more generous elastic waist than mine!
My favorite class...
in college was either Mental Health Issues or Med Micro.
my ego to be criticized.
to take more deep breaths.
(She's the one with the curly hair not wearing Disney pajamas!)
I first met her in kindergarten in Mrs. Southard's class. Then she moved all over the country/world. I didn't meet her again until 7th grade, and then we had very little in common and were little more than classmates. Sure, we knew each other pretty well, as it was a small high school. However, I didn't' really know her, Flash foward to 2007 when she became a close confidant and advice giver. And now she's had a blog for a year and its a great read. Go check her out!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I knew I needed nursing apparel, and after asking several "mommy friends", I opted to read consumer reviews and find bras most like the VS I've become accustomed to. I cannot handle scratchy, granny style, non-supportive ones.
I shopped around looking for the best deals at http://www.diapers.com/ and http://www.herroom.com/ (both excellent websites with fair prices) but found a super sale at http://www.cvs.com/ for the highly rated nursing tanks and one medium-ly rated bra.
I admit, I love going to Walgreen's and browsing, so going to this CVS site was nice, too. There aren't any CVSes in my state (to my knowledge), but when I've been to the stores when I am in the South, they seem messy and cluttered. Not so with the website! I was impressed with the ease of purchase and the variety, including the store-brand options.
I also found a MEGA sale using the site's own coupon section. Right now, if you type SALE20 in the code box, you save 20 percent. I also clicked on some promo that is $10 off $60 and an additional $5 off if you pay with MasterCard (which just happens to be the debit card brand I have). I found some code online for free shipping... and so the savings began to add up. Lookie below:
Savings - 20% off All Items............................................................. $24.40
Bravado Designs The Essential Nursing Bra Tank Black ...........$10.00
Bravado Designs The Original Nursing Bra .............,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,..$10.00
Bravado Designs The Essential Nursing Bra Tank White.............$10.00
CVS Potty Time Flushable Wipes Refill Packs...............................$0.70
$10 off $60 Order..............................................................................$10.00
$5 off $60 Mastercard.......................................................................$5.00
Free Shipping over $49.....................................................................$5.49
Total Savings ................................................................ $75.59
Total Spent .........................................................................................$89.87
So, 90 bucks versus the $165.46 if I'd paid full price (which I rarely do).
You are probably thinking, "What did she spend so much money on at a drug store?"
Well... as you see above, these super awesome highly rated nursing tops that were on sale anyway before the 20% discount, some deluxe ultra non-cloth pads (because apparently, I am going to need LOTS of them according to advice from the last post!), a very specific deoderant Husby likes but I can never remember the brand or scent, and off brand wipes (which I use for taking off eye makeup and were absurdly cheap).
I might continue to use this site to buy certain things like his deoderant or our mail-order scripts, but I'm not totally sure. I think its definately worth a look!
3) (Forbidden) $2 beers
4) Feigning interest when he's not involved in the play
5) Out of the park home runs
6) Inside the park home runs
7) Stealing bases
8) Grass stains
10) Mosquito bites
Did you guess.... if not, here's the most obvious clue...
Its full season of summer league softball.
Show Me Games tournament in a month.
Only two leagues this summer... down from four last year...
I make it to roughly one game per week.
While I am NOT a softball girl (too dusty, too sweaty, too big of a risk of getting hit in the face by a ball), I am a girl who knows how happy summer league softball makes her guy. He is so good at this sport! I think if I could make catches and be perfectly parallel to the ground with arms extended and do inside the park home runs because I was so fast, I would also love the sport.
But I can't, so I just go, sit in my comfy foldable chair, and try not to be distracted by my phone or iPod or friends around me when HE makes those amazing plays!
Monday, June 22, 2009
I am 35 weeks pregnant according to the due "date" (which everyone says is totally arbitrary!).
I haven't finished buying everything from our registry that we didn't get. I haven't decided where or in what the baby should sleep. I haven't organized the nursery for photos or utilitarian purposes. I haven't washed anything, or even bought Dreft. I haven't obsessed over spellings of names or alternate names for Baby H. I haven't done any baby proofing of the house. I haven't packed any travel bags or given my birth plan to the doctor yet. I haven't filled out the baby book pages that are pre-birth specific. I haven't written cards of thanks for gifts. I haven't really done a "deep cleaning" of the house, except for Baby Shower purposes 2 weeks ago. I haven't considered what I really must do or made a game plan for getting that done.
I have been reading books I want (and some that I don't WANT, but think are important like birthing philosophy and nursing guidance books), watching some foolish television, going to the ARC pool for water aerobics nearly every day, writing posts to save for the future to publish when I have this baby and don't have energy to write, thinking about baby's names, thinking about what needs to be cleaned, preparing mental lists of prioritized baby items of what to buy first, thinking about our monthly budget and getting mentally prepared for a meeting with husby about me taking over Haid Financial Center Management (a position he has overseen since the third month of my grad school, but I will take over since I'm not working outside the home this fall), napping, putting my feet up, and drinking insane amounts of water.
But, I've never been 35 (or more) weeks pregnant before, so I don't know if I'm being a good time manager.
So I look to you, dear reader, for some sage wisdom. Or silly thoughts.
- What should I really "just get down to business and do already"?
- What should I do as sort of a "last supper" type thing in my daily routine?
- What things am I totally missing that I should do in the next few weeks?
- What do you wish you would have done, but you didn't?
- What do you wish you hadn't done, but done anyway?
Sunday, June 21, 2009
This particular occasion occured on a Sunday afternoon dining experience, which is considerably better than last time's teacher wardrobe mistake.
And to be honest, no one noticed. Not Husby, friends who ate dinner with us, friends' mom who took the photograph...
At first glance, you might not even notice.
Yep. There it is. An unfortunate wardrobe blunder. At least they were both brown sandals...
Saturday, June 20, 2009
(Seriously, they are blind??!? Gee, makes me feel like an inadequate crafter!)
Covered by a bright, tractor-theme quilt made by GGma L, Gma Becky, and Gma Becky's close friend...
Baby H received the stroller I registered for, Kolcraft Contours Option 3 Wheeler in Ruby Red from Husby's paternal grandmother, only paternal aunt, and only paternal-side cousin.
But quickly discovered I didn't have all the tools I needed to assemble it. I had no idea where Husby kept the screwdrivers. Or where most of the tools are. The garage is a pretty unfamiliar place for me!
I didn't want to call him at work.So I did what any resourceful gal would do... I looked around for a substitue tool. The nail file worked pretty well, but then I thought about the safety ramifications I might have created.
And it seriously took him no time. Maybe ten minutes. Maybe.
Friday, June 19, 2009
My hair was so short. My abdomen was fetus-free.
She arrived from Chicago on the train.
She made me feel so happy.
We enjoyed two bottles of Stone Hill and a lovely picnic.
I am excited for my friend to arrive this weekend!
I am sure we will have a lovely, lovely time.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
(I think BFing sounds really funny, so to amuse myself I am going to always call breast feeding BFing... just to make me smile!)
I asked dozens of questions and had the class go over by 45 minutes. So... I've got lots of random trivia to share, with you, my mostly non-lactating friends!
And... In case you were wondering, no one took her boobs out. Phew. No high pressure to practice feeding a stuffed animal, either. Double Phew!
I'll start composing a post, but don't fret if it isn't published in a timely manner. Lately, I've gotten a case of the "forget the words"and "non-cohesive paragraphs"... which I attribute to Baby H taking all my DHA for his brain development. He better be a smartie, because I"ve been a total spacer lately!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Lots of people had just left our house from the Baby H festivities, and the living room was still trashed. Here's what it looked like:
We decided to escape the house and go for dinner.
Here are a few pictures of the Three Haids... Baby H, me, and Husby. I am quite aware of how cheesy these photos are. We were feeling hot, tired, and not especially romantic, but I felt we should document how we looked on this momentous occasion.
It was my mom's birthday, and she is kind enough to share that day with me for Baby H's shower. It is also my sister's anniversary, and so for five years now she's had to share the date, too! I guess she is pretty used to sharing, since she is a twin and has shared the birthday with my Aunt Carla for the past XX years (its not polite to comment on a lady's age, but I will tell you she will be a young looking Gramma!).
Here is a photo of my mom talking to her sister on her birthday.
It is taken right outside the restaurant. I think she looks so cute in this picture. She had a few minutes to talk because we were later, having that goofy front lawn photo shoot. My dad sat all the way across from her on another parking bench, which was a really funny sight. I should have photographed it!
Dinner was a fun time. I was totally the odd one out. I didn't get any steak! I feel lucky though that I was able to eat there... the last time we went to this steakhouse on New Year's Eve, I def. took most of it home in a To Go box. (and a barf bag. EW!). So I enjoyed my salad and baked potato, while there were huge, medium rare steaks on either side of me. I did get dessert... key lime pie... which tasted amazing for breakfast the next day!
Here's a photo of my hottie sister. Her makeup looks really good, and so does her shorter hair cut.
Here's a photo that Husby indulged me with... there were massive cow heads on the wall, and from where I sat it looked like he had sprouted a pair of longhorns in addition to a crop of shaggy hair!
Here are a few family photos taken outside the restaurant. I haven't taken my camera ANYWHERE in the last few months, and since I remembered, I was flash-happy. I also don't see my parents and sisters together much - and I wanted to email these pix to our other sister (unpictured, celebrating her wedding anniversary this night) so she'd know we had a good time and that we missed her! I suppose she could always pretend that she was the one taking the photograph, if someone asks why she isn't in it... or she could just say that she had other fun plans that night, but was lucky to see her family digitally, at least!
Here's a photo of my mom and sister. They worked hard ALL DAY LONG to make the shower successful. By hard working, I mean washing innumerable dishes and glasses. Lifting heavy china. Frosting cupcakes. Being hostesses. They don't look it, but they deserved to be super tired!
And here is a photo of my mother and me. I was feeling ultra exhausted. And super huge pregnant. (Not maternity clothes, again! How much stretch fabric do I actually own?? And will the gauchos and tank be resilient after such a stretch? Time will tell.)
We ended the photo session quickly (much to Husby's relief) and gave hugs goodbye. Then a funny thing happened.
My dad started to tell me not to be sad or disappointed if he didn't come for the labor and delivery part. I started gagging and had barf in my mouth. I ran away.
These events weren't connected, however. Some guy smoking stepped really close to me and blew his smoke at me (or the wind picked up...). I surprised myself by gagging so fiercely. I worried I barf on their truck, so I sprinted to the edge of the parking lot by the bushes.
My dad had a funny look. He thought I was upset! Nope, just a little surprise nausea!
After we got home, my sister and I crashed. We couldn't stay awake much longer than 10 pm. Husby did... whatever he does in the garage when I fall asleep early... and Rachel and I got some much needed rest!
Monday, June 15, 2009
Outside my window... I hear crickets. Yes, we live in the city limits, but I don't hear any cars, neighbors, etc. All I see are a few porch lights, but not many. I am thankful for such a calm place... in college I lived in a neighborhood that had unsupervised children shooting fireworks at cars and loud drunk people rummaging around at night. What a difference!
I am thinking... It won't be the same, ever.
This week I will try to... start the day with a To Do, or intentions list. It has helped me organize my day. Honestly, I was a very poor lesson book user... just jotted down a few notes here and there, but now that I don't NEED to plan every minute of a day because I am not teaching, I NEED to plan every moment so I can have some sort of guide for how I want the day to turn out.
I hope to teach... I hope to teach again. I miss not teaching summer school. Shocker! I miss being around kids. Not high schoolers, per say, but children.
From the kitchen... I will make potato soup tomorrow. Panera style. From the kitchen today... the tenth consecutive day of not preparing food other than cereal or watermelon.
I am wearing... Non-maternity clothes, again. Yes, they are stretchy bamboo organic type clothes, and yes, there is a slight gap between the shirt and the capris. But I am glad I didn't buy maternity yoga wear or PJs. Not necessary!
On my iTunes... I started to subscribe to New Life Live's podcasts again. I have been catching the last half hour of the show this month, and I remember how much I enjoy the call-in talk show format!
I am reading...I have finished reading like EVERYTHING. I want to keep reading more, but a repeat of The Nursing Mother's Companion: NEW! Revised! is boring! I need something new, something chicklit.
I am hoping... someone reads this and recommends a book, author, or genre!
I am thankful for... the generosity of family and friends at this weekend's baby shower. I am also keenly thankful for the opportunity to have a nap most afternoons.
I am remembering... how about an "I forgot"? I forgot to turn the faucet off at a friend's house last week. Just one example of the simple things that I am not remembering!
I am creating... a care package for a friend who needs a little care.
I am praying... a thanksgiving prayer for a different friend who has been given an amazing and unplanned gift.
Around the house... Lots and lots of baby stuff. Lots and lots of organization needed.
One of my favorite things... I'm going to go with Quik Trip. 49 cent drinks! It makes the price of gas seem tolerable when I know I can fuel up at a place where I can quench for so cheap!
A few plans for the rest of the week... turning on the AC, water aerobics classes in the morning, baby doctor appointment on Wednesday, breastfeeding class on Thursday night, writing and mailing cards of thanks
A picture thought to share with you: