2.28.2010

just stating the obvious

I swore I would be a more prolific blogger in February but I was not.

In addition to the throwing up (which seems to be nearly over, thank you Lord) I've been undertaking some crazy hormone-driven house organization projects during which I spend a lot of time talking to myself and thinking things over and over. This leaves my brain tired from the over-thinking and all out of things to type.

Typing is nice and so are all of you and so are untired brains.

See you in March.

2.25.2010

something else

My baby girl is something else.

We're trying to figure her out and we will probably keep trying to figure her out for a long time. Hopefully we'll even get somewhere by the time she moves out of the house and meets a boy who will have to start at the beginning. I'm kidding. Kind of. Girls are so complicated.

When I was pregnant with her I had this fear that she wouldn't like me. I've never had a sister or even a girl cousin very close to my age, and I think I thought she might not like my clothes or hair or something, like I was going to give birth to the girl who works in the handbag section at Saks.

Instead I got a girl who loves her mom and other kids and babies. She loves to hug and laugh and have her back rubbed. She calls her baby dolls (and really anyone with a smiling face, including herself) a "dot-doll". She is drawn to happy sweet looking faces and talks about them nonstop, always pleased.

"Mama, it a dot-doll?!?"

She is funny and feisty and knows how to tell you what she wants.
She is so much like her brother, yet nothing like her brother.
She is her own little Alice person.
I am so glad she's my little Alice person.
My baby.
My baby who will be getting promoted to "big-sister" right at her second birthday.
But I'm not scared.
She might just be a natural.

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(Or traumatized and clingy and maybe she'll want to sell the baby, but I am pretending those things aren't going to happen for now.)

(Also, PS, both Alice and dot-doll gave rave reviews of the soup.)

2.21.2010

some restructions

Clark calls both recipes and instruction booklets "restructions" which I find adorable because he is my three year old and I find most things he says adorable.

Anyway, I am going to do something very unlike me and post a recipe.

Some restructions for making delicious egg noodles.

"Hi I am Clark, and welcome to my mom's noodle restructions. Here you see me mixing salt into flour. This is the only step I assisted with because I got bored from all the stirring and thought it would be more fun to play Mario with my dad."

I am posting this here for two reasons. The first is that I think you guys are all awesome and want to share so you can enjoy the noodley goodness too. The second is (this is kind of embarrassing) I'm afraid if I don't write down how I've made them the last two times, I will forget. Amounts of ingredients make me nervous when they are too exact and I prefer to just adjust things as I go. (You'll see here in a second as I attempt to explain this soup to you.) But these noodles have been adjusted enough. They are good and I need to stop now and write down how I've been making them before Winter is over and nine months go by and all I can remember is like, "You use flour and eggs or something."

Ahem.

PART ONE: THE CHICKEN SOUP PART
You'll need onions, garlic, carrots, celery, or whatever veggies you prefer, salt, pepper, canned chunk chicken, one large can of chicken broth, and whatever spices you like including but not limited to bay leaves, fresh parsley, thyme, and/or whatever else you have or like more.

I have done this hard way (deboning an entire chicken, making my own broth) and the easy way (canned chunk chicken and canned broth) and unless you're really aiming to impress or just like removing bones from dead birds, I think canned is usually the way to go. It is much faster and tastes similar.

So this is roughly how I make the soup part:

1) Saute onions, garlic, carrots, celery, whatever other vegetables you want in some olive oil until they're sort of tender. Use whatever amounts make you happy. Open a can of chicken chunks and pour the juice from the can in with the veggies so they start to taste chickeny while you are doing this.

2) Pour a large can of chicken broth (again with the canned, I know, I know, but this is the EASY FAST recipe) into a big soup pot and let it boil. Add the veggies you just softened to the broth and let it all boil.

3) In the pan you used to soften the veggies, pour the chicken chunks. I like to brown them a little so they don't look so pink and creepy in the soup, but this is probably because I am weird. You can add the chicken whenever you think it looks appetizing. Or when you get tired of stirring it. (But you can't quit here to play Mario or no one will have dinner.)

4) Add salt, pepper, thyme, parsley, bay leaves and/or whatever else you think your broth needs to taste good. Keep tasting it and adding stuff until it tastes right, but be careful with the salt. Your tongue will adjust to the saltiness and make you think it needs more than it does and you will end up with hot salt water soup.

5) Put a lid on the pot and turn the heat down. It should keep bubbling.

PART TWO: THE NOODLES
You'll need 2 cups of flour, half a teaspoon of salt, 2 eggs, splash of olive oil, and 1/3 cup of the above broth.

1) Mix two cups of flour and about half a teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Try to get the salt mixed around so it isn't concentrated in one area.

2) In a separate bowl, whisk together two eggs, a splash of olive oil, and 1/3 cup of the broth you just made.

3) Make a little crater in the middle of the flour and pour your egg mixture in. Mix it all together with your hands or a spatula until all of the liquid and all of the dry ingredients are well mixed.

4) Flour a countertop or table and put the dough on top. Knead it for a few minutes until it feels smooth and doughlike and it seems like a good texture to roll. It should be a big ball at this point and might be somewhat sticky on the outside. Just pat some flour on the stickiness.

5) When the dough feels good, cut it in half.

5) Roll the two pieces of dough out on the floured surface until they are nice and thin. Let it all rest for a little bit while you clean up the kitchen. 15 minutes is good.

6) Cut the rolled out dough into noodle pieces. I use a pasta cutter from Crate and Barrel, but I used to use a pizza cutter and that worked too.

7) Drop the dough noodles into the boiling chicken broth and let them bounce around in there. They will turn into regular noodles after a few minutes.

8) Voila! If your family doesn't like this they might be robots.




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2.15.2010

how to ruin valentine's day and other good advice

Do you ever feel distinctly not like yourself and then wonder what that even means and what the composite of "yourself" really breaks down into? I usually decide my self image is probably a bunch of BS and that I am nothing like I think I am, but it's still the one I hold on to and the one I want to be. Even if it's make believe.

Anyway.

I have felt, lately, like the most boring version of myself. Nothing like "normal" me.

I am tired. I am still sick. I spent this morning trying to convince myself that I didn't need to throw up and the afternoon throwing up and the later afternoon and evening eating green grapes and pineapple until my tongue was raw, only quitting when we ran out of pineapple. I know there are women out there who are sick the entire time they are pregnant and work jobs outside of the home in proper clothing that contain things like buttons and zippers, but I don't know how they do it. I am really thankful my employers don't mind standing in the bathroom watching me puke while they wait for their sippy refills.

I want to not feel sick anymore.

I want to think about things and stretch out my brain. I can't remember how.

On Valentine's day I should have been the happiest kid ever (our much anticipated new furniture arrived and we went to the Apple store and traded in my old broken iPod for a new working iPod) but I was a total jerk to my husband all day. I could feel myself being a jerk and even observe how silly it was as it was happening, but I kept letting it spill out. I have no idea what my problem was. I ruined the day. Yay me.

I am praying that on Wednesday when I am 14 weeks things start feeling better. I want to feel like the old (probably made-up complete fantasy) version of myself that I feel comfortable with.

I also want some pants that fit.


(This photo is somewhat embarrassing and hard for me to post because I look so freaking pregnant and I am only 13 weeks. I blame muscle memory or something. The midwife said I was measuring a little big. YA THINK?)

2.12.2010

reality

I did not clean my house today the way I said I would.

Instead my kids started tearing things apart this morning, so I quickly got them dressed and we fled. To Target, my mom's house, Goodwill, the Carmel Antique Mall, and Dairy Queen.

Now things look like this.


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This doesn't even show you the entire package of adhesive googly eyes Alice stuck to the kitchen floor while I made dinner.

Just thought you might like to know.

so this girl walks into a Macy's

Thank you all! I really really appreciate all of your comments and prayers and I'm all smiley.

My appointment yesterday morning went well. We heard that whooshy whooshy heartbeat with only minor difficulty - caused by the baby wiggling away from the doppler over and over. That's the kind of difficulty I like.

I was planning to update with that news last night but I didn't even make it through 30 Rock. I was passed out, stone cold, all night long. At one point Clark even got in our bed and took my pillow and I continued to sleep soundly, sans pillow, for hours longer.

This ability to fall asleep and stay asleep is one of the things I love about pregnancy. I have had sleeping trouble my entire life so the change is really refreshing.

I have to go force myself to clean my house now because we have a busy day ahead of us and on Sunday we are getting NEW FURNITURE. Last week I happened to be at the mall and happened to walk into Macy's and happened to go to the furniture section to look around and they happened to have be having a 10% off sale so I was able to get the Corona sofa and chair (which were marked down a ton even before the sale) together, for a STEAL. I have been looking for a sofa for a crazy long time and we've been living with a ripped up old leather sofa from Goodwill for the last six months so I didn't even feel guilty ordering this stuff on the spot. I didn't want to buy a super fancy grown-up sofa (have I mentioned I have kids?) but I wanted one that was shaped cute and I think this is a good solution.

The next day, someone sat down on our old crappy couch and one of the legs came off.

Yeah, it was time.

This is the couch we've been using:

What's that? You say it's not too bad?

Let's look closer:

Notice in the above photo that there are no seat cushions? None at all? That's because they are on the floor 90% of the time. The very old, brittle leather seemed find when I bought the sofa, but it turns out that it could not withstand actual every day use and has been ripped to shreds.


The ripped cushions (actually one of the three is entirely missing its cover but I am to embarrassed to photograph it) don't grip onto the sofa so the kids throw them to the floor.

This enables Clark to use the springy base as a trampoline.


And it allows Alice to pull out ripped-cushion-stuffing and laugh.

"Hi Mom, look what I have!"

It was definitely time.

2.10.2010

there's a party in my tummy

Okay friends, I have a confession.

I am not just a bad blogger.

It is after midnight so it's official -- I am 13 weeks pregnant.

I just can't hold it in anymore.

We've known about this baby for two months and I've been really sick for about a month and a half. I've been noticably absent from this blog and leaving comments and from twitter, my brain barely able to come up with thoughts that wouldn't give this news away.

And it isn't that I didn't want to share it, because I did. But I also thought that keeping it a secret would make it only sort-of-true instead of all the way true. I thought if I didn't celebrate too much or spread it around, if I didn't tell people about the positive pregnancy tests or act happy about it, I could keep it in sort-of-true limbo as long as necessary. Sort-of-true seemed good because it would enable me to protect myself from feeling so much if it ended in another miscarriage.

But at this point? I've realized that sort-of-true doesn't exist. Emotionally and physically, I am all in. I am SO all in. I am totally, 100% aware that it is true. I am pregnant. I have been dreaming up names and buying maternity tank tops. Our families and friends now know and I look visibly... round.

I am all the way in, in deep, and this is why I am telling you now, even though we have yet to hear a heartbeat.

My first appointment is Thursday morning and I am praying for all to be A-OK.

Will you join me?

2.04.2010

You Capture: Faces

So January was not really my month for blogging. Sorry about that. I haven't even participated in You Capture in forever and ever, but guess what? I am going to today. These are not all brand brand new, but they are all from January and I can't not share them. This is what we were doing this month.

...
Yesterday Clark told me he wanted to finger paint. I told him we didn't have finger paints but we had regular paint, would that be okay? Yes, that would be okay he decided.

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You know, "to finger paint myself."


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(Please notice the Peter Pan costume he is wearing. It's too small and pulling it over his head is becoming traumatic, but he still wants to wear it.)

...

Last week (the week before? have totally lost all sense of time) we had a pretend birthday party. Clark's idea. He was quite the host for his imaginary guests Mario, Ma-uigi, Bowser and Princess Peach. He even taught them robot lessons. We made paper party crowns.

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That last Alice picture is my desktop background right now. I mean, come on.

I am hoping that posting pictures will get my feet wet and encourage me to write here more this month. I really do have things to say, it's just a matter of typing it all out.

Go visit Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry to see more faces. Faces make me happy.