• Darn Good Ideas,  Pregnancy

    a Non-Alcoholic Beer Tasting

    Wow, a non-alcoholic beer tasting! Great idea and I appreciate Ashley and Aron trying the (mostly crummy) options for us.

    I haven’t tried their winner, Clausthaler, but it was a specifically requested non-alco option at our market last summer.

    Clausthaler got high marks from both of us: the smell is slightly sweet–like honey–and the first taste is fruity, but the finish had more hops. In other words, this one actually had range!

  • Cooking,  Joe & Rachael Projects,  Life Story,  Music,  Pregnancy

    What Happened to April

    Sorry guys. I’ve been missing this place.

    I went home for a baby shower. Joe and I made a little mix cd to give as a tiny thank you to all the amazing women who gave us gifts, many of them obviously handcrafted with love. It was supposed to be Springy, and Agreeable, so that even my grandmothers would like it. You can listen to it too, right here. (the mix I lined-up to play right after our mix is really good too–French and sexy.)

    Want a close-up of that little painting Joe made for the cd cover? I know I do:

    My only selfish request for the shower brunch was that there be cinnamon rolls. My mom makes the recipe that was copied off of Cinnabon, as in the all rights reserved Cinnabon, the one you hope is in the airport so you can sneak off and get a small box of chewy frosted dough.

    Is there anything quite like seeing a dozen adults queue up to buy themselves cinnamon rolls?

    a sample gift:

    What else?

    I made this easy quinoa tabbouleh and thought about how healthy and worthy I was, eating quinoa and even pronouncing it properly under my breath. (instead of “keen-wa,” there used to be days when I said “qui-noAH.” Whatever. The point is, it has a lot of amino acids.)

    I watched the first episode of “Dresscue Me.” You can download it, free, from iTunes. Joe was almost too stressed out by the estrogen-energy to watch; which I say as a warning before you get the whole family in front of the television.

    I read a bunch of great books. The last three on that list were particularly fun to read. If you need a little great writing in your life, a little reminder of how immediately enticing a story can be, get The Imperfectionists from the library. I almost read it twice, just to make it last longer.

    Don’t forget about this almond pastry Easter recipe I wrote about last year.

    Just because I wasn’t around here doesn’t mean I wasn’t reading your lovely blog posts, and funny tweets, missing your thoughtful company, and clicking your delightful links. I was.

  • Baby,  Life Story,  Pregnancy

    reflections on 25 Weeks

    Joe made me this postcard for Valentine’s Day. Later on, he noted that she is either emanating color out into the desert world, or being attacked by a storm cloud of rainbows. Ultrasonic images have that mysterious way about them. What is she thinking? you wonder.

    If I have to bend over and pick things up, I start panting, ohhing, and ahhing, like taking out the trash might be the last effort I donate to the day.

    My mom told me that in her first pregnancy she started eating foods from her childhood. It might have just been those “crazy woman cravings” that society is obsessed with attributing to pregnant women, or she suggested, she was struggling with the transition of being responsible for someone and wanted to revert back to being a kid again. I can’t really think of another reason why kraft macaroni and cheese will be the food I end up associating with this pregnancy.

    I have been struck by the strange fact that though every woman must map the tricky route of how she will balance her baby and her hopes for her engagement with the outside world, it is difficult for us to talk to each other about it. We each have our own notions of what the other must assume, and speak hesitatingly only for ourselves. For what has been a dynamic issue for the past forty years, it has not resolved in any useful way.

    Desperately needing cheats to eat vegetables every day, I  jumped on the green smoothie train. It has saved me, and probably a few red blood cells too. Banana, frozen wild blueberries, bunches of raw spinach, almond milk, blend. You don’t really taste anything beside the banana and the milk, and there is none of that flat-tongue-leaf-spinchyness texture that I lately despise. Saved.

    The hormones have begun to occasionally swing away from blissful mother o’ peace to those of a cranky perturbed five year old. Not only are things wrong, things are cryably wrong. You experience things in pregnancy that make you relate to an infant—the desperate, overwhelming desire to eat right now; the frustration of not knowing or understanding where emotions well up from and deciding to just express them anyway; the fulfilling occupation of simply gazing off into space.

    My trusty shirts are, one by one, waving a hand of fond farewell and retiring to the corners of my drawers, hoping I will not ask them to experience that again. I just went through all the clothes I own, and was surprised to meet a few new candidates for favorite shirt.  At least for the next week.

    She kicks when I do yoga, when Joe plays the guitar, when I eat peanut butter, and when I think it might be a nice time for a little peace and quiet, she practices her routine for a kicking brigade dance show. These are just the kicks I habitually note, the others are faintly scribbled on an EKG reading somewhere in my brain that I recall when I have a moment of panic, thinking she’s been silent for days.

  • Baby,  Pregnancy

    girl color

    We bought flowers last week when we found out we are having a girl. It would have been steaks if it were a boy. yes, we’re already starting in with the gender roles. I was convinced it was a boy, probably because I have four younger brothers and males seemed to be in general abundance in the universe of grasshoppers waiting to be incarnated.

    So I’m really glad we found out, because otherwise I would have continued on my merry way of misinformation.

    I can’t make flowers look like Frolic can. The color in this photo is just what people mean when they say the word April.

  • Baby,  Entertainment,  Good design,  Pregnancy

    Holiday Alcohol

    The #1 question I get from my non-pregnant/male friends is: do you miss alcohol? For the first 20 weeks, I did not. These days, yes I do. It’s not really the day-to-day, it’s the alcohol associated with occasions. Bloody Marys on plane rides. Margaritas with Mexican. Dinner with friends with a new wine.

    Joe and I don’t do gifts for Valentine’s Day. We usually make cards: his a meticulous transformation of what was once just paper. Mine: a wordy, prosy, metaphor-laden 4th grader’s handwriting exercise. Anyway, we usually spend the money on expensive champagne and maybe make scrambled eggs and salmon or something that involves not going into the slushy world outside. Do I plan on having a glass or two? yes.

    But for the rest of the non-special times, when the guilt of impeding the development of a single brain cell stops my hand, I thought these drink ideas put together by Alyson at Unruly Little Things where just great. When it’s warmer, I’m looking forward to homemade lemonade being my drink of choice, perhaps embellished with a little rose water.

  • Baby,  Life Story,  Pregnancy

    Coming this summer

    my dear loyal erstwhile* readers,

    the time has come for that predictable post in which I tell you that I am pregnant, and have been pregnant, for some time–nearly three months–without your knowledge. What a foreign thing to want to whisper in everyone’s ear immediately, this thing that is completely occupying your attention and has made you feel quite sick actually, but you have to keep it hush hush because otherwise you might have to tell everyone the good news, and then tell everyone the bad news, should something terrible happen. Personally, I think it would be better to tell everyone both. But when it’s your first, as I keep reminding myself, you are in not much of a position to argue with tradition. Now, when it’s my third, that’s when I’ll be telling tradition who’s who around here.

    So yes, I went from a merry oyster slurping, sushi munching, afternoon espresso and sommelier-aspiring food monger to a curious creature who preferred to keep a sack of saltines on hand and cringed at the idea of walking within ten feet of what used to be my favorite hot dog stand. So it is that you begin nine months of blissful occupation being brought to your knees and wondering what the hell you were thinking voluntarily signing up for this and finally understanding why people looked aghast when you said you have six siblings.

    And now those three months have passed and mostly I’m just hungry all  the time now, and I can move on to wondering where we will stuff the little monkey when he/she arrives–a file drawer? a basket lined with cushions? And how funny it is that we try our best to prepare for everything, but really our whole life is going to completely completely change in ways we don’t have a clue about.

    But isn’t that stork magnificent?

    *a contrary phrase, yes.