Little Moments

It's amazing how much you can already love someone you've never met.  At 6 months, we are just 3 short months away from meeting our newest love, our daughter.  

To our baby...
I love feeling you move inside my belly.  Sometimes when you've had a quiet afternoon, I whisper a few words of encouragement to you "Come on baby, say hi..." Usually you respond fairly quickly.  I love that feeling.

Your daddy loves talking to you already.
It is one of my absolute favorite things to watch.  He often initiates "secret" conversations with you, curling up with you under the covers, hand on my belly, whispering to you about what's going on in the world, and your future plans together, peppered with a few "mom thinks this, but I think this," comments.  Usually, I can hear these "secrets" in their entirety, but I play along. I truly love these moments. I feel myself break into smile as he talks to you, and desperately try to soak up every moment into my memory, imprinting it in my brain so I'll never forget the way these moments feel.  

Other times, he talks to you candidly, laying beside me, hand on my belly, asking you questions, waiting for you to react or answer in the form of a kick or tap.  "What do you think of this name?  What do you think of soccer? swimming? basketball?" Ironically, football and gymnastics have been the two activities you've reacted most to, two activities your mama would not declare her strengths in the slightest.

In the evening, after we've eaten dinner, caught up on each others days, when your daddy and I retire to the couch, we often wait for the bewitching evening hour when you're most active. You were a morning person for the first weeks of movement, but now 9:00 - 10:00 pm seems to be your hour to shine.  It's amazing to be able to view your uterine acrobatics from the outside - it still surprises us.

Lastly for's unreal how we love you so much already.  It's pure magic.  Even growing up, I always thought I'd enjoy pregnancy, and love this time in my life.  I feel like I sometimes have to pinch myself to remember it's happening to me, to us, at this very moment, contemplating the reality that I'm carrying a life we created together, it is truly a wonderful, amazing feeling.  

Baby, we are so blessed to have you in our lives already.


Friday Link Love

+ would love these sun lounge chairs for my deck

+ wish I was in NYC to see this

+ pin everywhere you've been with this corkboard map

+ craving these cupcakes

+ baking no longer boring with moby measuring cups

+ gutter gardens - how multi functional

+ taking notes for our child's future birthday parties - donut cake = awesome!

+ a little love for your lobster

+ summer recipe to try: ricotta stuffed zucchini blossoms

+ hair do: love this color & style

+ chic nursing scarf, I'm intrigued...

Week 25

{Yes, you read that right, welcome to Hell, Michigan, 
a quaint little lake town where my in-laws have a cabin}
Baby Size: rutabaga
Maternity Clothes: maternity jeans and tops, still making some pre-maternity tops work
Food Cravings: strawberries, coffee (decaf)
Food Aversions: meat, pho
New Symptoms: just tired
Movement: Lots of movement, kicking, turning, and twisting around in there
Belly Button: In but about to pop out
Gender: GIRL!!!
Best Moment of the Week: visiting family in Michigan for a family wedding
What I'm Looking Forward To: Painting and prepping the nursery
What I Miss: Being able to throw together an outfit in 2 minutes, now that requires a little more thought and mirror checks :)
Currently Reading: Bringing up Bebe, Nurture Shock
Exercise: walking

Vancouver Babymoon

My husband and I are headed to Vancouver , B.C. for Memorial Day weekend for a "babymoon" of sorts.  This won't be our first visit to Vancouver, but it has been a few years since we've combed the likes of Robson Street.  So, now is our opportunity to play tourist and treat ourselves to a fun weekend away before the baby comes.

Any recommendations of things to do, places to eat, things to see?  Would love some words of wisdom from any Vancouver "experts" out there!

Wedding Weekend

Happy early weekend!  My husband and I are off to Michigan tonight for his cousin's wedding this weekend.  Looking forward to cruising Ann Arbor for the first time, soaking up some Mid-western sunshine, and celebrating Alan & Lindsay with his family.  

Have a wonderful weekend!


Mindy Project

I have a new favorite TV show - The Mindy Project.  Obviously, I realize this show is not new, however I'm trying to unload my queue of crime shows, and substitute in a few lighter comedies that don't leave me worried or frightened to fall asleep before bed (as most of my current crime shows usually do).  I'm thinking this is a good plan...

Anyway, I've always been a fan of Mindy Kaling.  I enjoyed her as Kelly Kapoor in the Office, I read her book, so I'm figuring, it was only a matter of time before joining the ranks of her TV followers.  First, I enjoy all the characters; especially her love/hate interest; Chris Messina (a.k.a. Danny Castellano), loved him initially as the doting husband in Julie & Julia.  Plus, I can relate to Mindy's characters obsession with rom coms.  Pretty sure I own every movie she recites dutifully throughout the first few episodes, (You've Got Mail, Notting Hill, Sleepless in Seattle, should I go on?).

Alright, I think I've made my pitch.  If you haven't jumped on the bandwagon yet, watch the pilot, it's supremely entertaining. 


Week 24

Baby Size: eggplant
Maternity Clothes: maternity jeans and tops, still making some pre-maternity tops work
Food Cravings: sourdough toast with butter, hamburgers, strawberries
Food Aversions: meat (minus hamburgers), pho
New Symptoms: occasional achy tailbone
Movement: Lots of kicking and pokes
Belly Button: In
Gender: GIRL!!
Best Moment of the Week: Mother's Day 
What I'm Looking Forward To: Going nursery furniture shopping
What I Miss: Sushi and red wine after a hard day at school this week
Currently Reading: Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth / Breastfeeding
Exercise: Long walks

Weekend Baking: Blueberry Cornmeal Butter Cake

Last Saturday afternoon, when faced with the difficult decision of cleaning the house vs. baking, I opted for the messier alternative - flour up my kitchen and bake!  Inspired by Carly's success with this recipe, I opted to try blueberry cornmeal butter cake, another Smitten Kitchen cookbook recipe.  Despite it being mid-afternoon, and already satiated from lunch, I figured, I'd almost always rather bake than clean house, so why not? 

The final product I would say was a success.  I would agree with Carly's assessment that it's more of a coffee cake, though technically, I have never made a butter cake to speak of, so I have no real basis of comparison.  My husband mentioned that it reminded him of a crumbly (but tasty) blueberry muffin.  Ultimately, if I were to bake again, I would lessen the amount of flour and cornmeal in the streusel topping.  My topping didn't brown as I'd hoped, leaving a sugary/floury layer atop the completed cake.  While still delicious, it didn't the cake the sugary, photogenic oomph displayed in Deb's cookbook photos.  Mental note for next time.  Happy baking!

Blueberry Cornmeal Butter Cake, from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
For the Cake:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for the pan
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for the pan
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, freshly grated
1/3 cup sour cream
2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and patted dry
For the Streusel:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 8×8 square pan with parchment paper. Butter and flour the pan or coat with cooking spray.
Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl and set aside. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, for at least 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl in between additions, then add the vanilla and zest. Add a third of the flour mixture, all of the sour cream, and another third of the flour, beating until just blended after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl. Mix the remaining third of the flour mixture with the blueberries. Fold the blueberry-flour mixture gently into the cake batter.
Spread the cake batter in the prepared cake pan. Use your original dry-ingredients bowl to combine the dry topping ingredients with a fork. Mash in the butter with a fork, your fingertips, or a pastry blender. Scatter the topping over the batter.
Bake the cake until the top is golden brown and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes (mine took 45 and the middle was still a bit undercooked). Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Run the spatula around the edges of the cake to loosen it, then flip out onto the cooling rack.
Yield: 16 2-inch squares

Weekend Link Love

+ lip sync-off; John Krasinski vs. Jimmy Fallon (best part: JK's Boyz II Men at the end)

+ Sweet snack for summer: sour patch grapes

+ America votes: world's sexiest nationalities

+ Good thing I'm married to an engineer!  Why engineers make the best husbands/boyfriends

+ Cute preppy outfit for the weekend

+ This might just be the more gourmet grilled cheese sandwich...EVER

+ Check it out!  Life-size dollhouse in Grand Central Station, I want to visit!

+ Ever had watermelon cake?  Color me intrigued

+ For the crafty at heart: DIY paper tulips

+ Digging these summer sandals

+ Looking forward to seeing this movie that debuts this weekend


The Skinny on Diapers

Okay people, let's get down and dirty and talk diapers.  Feel free to tune out this post if this is of zero relevance to you.  As we're compiling a registry, my husband and I are weighing the possibility of trying cloth diapering for our little bundle come August.

My mom used cloth diapers for my sisters and I.  However, our early 80's diaper experience is slightly different that the cloth diapering cult that exists today.  Also, take into account, my mom used a diaper service for cleaning, which is available at an additional cost.

At present, most of my mom friends do disposables, but we are seriously contemplating cloth diapering for the cost-saving and environmentally friendly perspective.  Comparing the cost alone has been encouraging...because man, diapers are EXPENSIVE!  Who knew?  I sure didn't...and to think newborn/infant diapers add up quickly both in dollars and garbage.

My friend Baillie has a 7 month old son, as has embraced the cloth diapers with great success.  She has been hugely helpful in educating my husband and I on.  She even gave me a cloth diaper "tutorial" earlier this week (thanks Bay!), on top of even compiling a lengthy, information packed email to enlighten us on the concept.  Here are some pros & cons from her experience:

Cloth Diapering Pros
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Cost savings compared to disposables (Even with the extra laundry, the cost savings is substantial...especially considering you can re-use the same cloth diapers with the second child if you go with mostly gender neutral colors)
  • No diaper rash 
  • No blowouts 
Cloth Diapering Cons:
  • Can take some time to get used to 
  • Diapers can be huge at first (unless you buy sized diapers)
  • More laundry

So I ask - what do the rest of you moms like?  Have you joined the cloth diaper bandwagon?  Are you a fan of disposables?  I've love to hear your thoughts, wisdom, and tales from your own experience just to get some feedback and perspective on all of the options out there.

Week 23

  • Baby Size: ear of corn
  • Maternity Clothes: maternity jeans and tops, still making some pre-maternity tops work
  • Food Cravings: strawberries, root beer, rocky road ice cream
  • Food Aversions: meat, pho
  • New Symptoms: achy hips after sleeping on my side
  • Movement: Lots of kicking around my belly
  • Belly Button: In…just barely
  • Gender: GIRL!!!
  • Best Moment of the Week: fun baby shower at work thrown for a colleague and I, hearing her heartbeat at our monthly check-up
  • What I'm Looking Forward To: Getting the nursery ready
  • What I Miss: Nothing this week
  • Currently Reading: Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth / Breastfeeding
  • Exercise: None this week, slacking!

Weekend Baking: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Call it nesting, call it extreme productivity, or something in between...but lately I've been getting these culinary aspirations to whip up multi-course meals, namely entrees through dessert.  This is not a daily, or even weekly occurrence by any means, but my burst of energy this Sunday night resulted in this scrumptious meal: black bean and butternut squash tacos (in honor of Cinco de Mayo) followed by Ina Garten's strawberry rhubarb crisp.  I always seem to miss rhubarb's short season, so this year, I was determined to bake at least something with this tart, delicious fruit.  
All in all - a decent little meal, thank you very much!  Now I'm laid up on the couch in a food coma, but given the ample kicking post-dinner, I'm pretty sure baby enjoyed the dinner as well. :)


No School Due to Good Weather

Well we've all heard of snow days, but have you ever heard of this?  School canceled due to good weather!  WHAT?!  Yes indeed, in Washington state in fact.  A private Christian school in Bellingham, Washington canceled school this past Friday due to the high temperatures and sunny skies forecasted  leading into the weekend.  Their reasoning; a day "just for fun," boosts morale and "promotes positive school culture." Brilliant, right?  I think so...  My school district, feel free to follow suit!



For the past three weeks, I've been able to feel the baby move.  It truly is one of the best, most amazing feelings I've ever experienced!  My husband got a chance to feel her kick for the first time around Week 20, and now he's hooked! It's become our little ritual, waking up in the morning, laying in bed, and having a few moments of just us talking to the baby and feeling her kicks.  It's one of my most favorite times of the day.

 Most of our baby books say that babies sleep 12-14 hours a day in utero, but there are definitely times when I feel distinct movement.  For our baby girl, she is most active in the early morning and around 6:00, just before dinner.  We joke that she'll definitely be a morning person, as she is always up and ready to start the day.  Sometimes she kicks in a rhythmic pattern all in the same spot, other times her movements are sporadic and all around my belly. 

While this journey has definitely seemed more real since we found out she's a she, feeling the baby move takes the fact that we'll be parents in a few short months to a whole new level.  This is such an special time for us as we literally watch her grow before our eyes, and prepare for her arrival at the end of the summer.