Friday, April 30, 2010

The very hungry baby

I think the baby was crying inside me today and my body promptly responded.... and then I had to change my shirt.

Thoroughly weirded out that my boobs are leaking and the baby has yet to need external nutrition, I texted Eric to tell him the news. I guess I didn't communicate very well because he definitely thought that my water had broken and began (in his head) to plan out a speedy return home.

I don't blame him for being paranoid. After all, he IS in Colorado and I am in Chicago....with contractions, contractions, and more contractions! (none of which have been labor inducing, but still...).

But now he is not the only one paranoid. After all, I have been checking the front of my shirt every 5 minutes since this morning just to make sure that everything is staying where it should! I am also making a Target run today to pick up all those extra baby essentials that I have been putting off for so long just in case we need them sooner than expected!

Although we have absolutely no idea when real labor will actually begin, I can tell you truthfully that my body has felt a lot different these past couple of days than before... I have an inkling that this very active baby may be wanting a bigger space to play in sooner rather than later...(hello world!!!). After all, at 37 weeks, this baby is welcome to and may come at any time!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bubble Bath Blues

After almost 8 hours of entertaining/lifting/chasing around Caleb yesterday, along with the added pressure of a baby's head burrowing down down down into my pelvic cavity, I came home last night needing to simply relax. Perfect solution! A warm bubble bath!

(Note to Moms: don't worry, next week is my last week of Caleb care, and Mata care is over as well since his mom is in the hospital delivering a baby as I type this!)

I got everything ready for an easy entry and exit, so that I could crawl straight into bed with a movie as soon as the bath was done. It sounded amazing. It really did. And it was! Well, being IN the bath was amazing. Getting out? Not so much.

After a long and relaxing soak (at which point my fingers and toes had become soggy raisins), I pulled the washcloth out of the drain (our landlord must not believe in drain plugs) and began my climb out of the tub....only to discover that the rest of the bathroom had gotten jealous while I was soaking and decided to be just like the tub. Needless to say, there was water EVERYWHERE.

I was MAD! For several reasons. One, my body was finally completely relaxed and ready to crawl into bed. Two, I had just spent all day Sunday washing the floors until they shone, and now the bathroom drain (which is on the floor beside the tub) decides to back up and flood the whole bathroom with gross drain water. And three, the reason why the drain backed up in the first place was because our landlord did not re-seal the lid after he routed out the drain last month.

I spent the next half hour cleaning up the bathroom, only to finally get into bed and realize that I smelled like a mildewed towel. And then to make matters worse, Eric sends me a text message informing me that yes, he loves me, but they just got back from the Colorado Rockies game and he has to go get in the hot tub now, so he will talk to me tomorrow. Some business trip that is...

Ok, so I am a little envious that I didn't get to tag along with them. It's true. Even the idea of staying home alone for ten days in my 9th month of pregnancy kind of makes me want to shrivel up inside. But, since that is the reality, I am trying to make the best of it. I have activities with work or friends or church lined up for every day this week, including the weekend, so as not to die of boredom or envy as Eric sits in the outdoor hot tub in gorgeous CO surrounded by mountains and munching on diamonds.....

Friday, April 23, 2010

Baby update

We had the ultrasound today! For various reasons, Eric decided to postpone his departure until after the ultrasound, which made me incredibly happy that he came with me to see our baby (you know as well as I do that he is just as madly in love with this little baby as I am)!

Everything looks great! Baby is in the 45th percentile for growth, which is perfectly average for its gestational age....which is actually a week behind what my estimated due date was predicted as formerly. So, according to the baby's growth, it seems that my ultrasound estimated due date is actually more like May 25th (instead of the 19th), or somewhere around there (as babies come whenever they feel ready...regardless of what we may think). Kind of a bummer, since I have to backtrack a week mentally and say that I am really still in my 35th week, but a wonderful thing considering the fact that our baby is healthy and happy and growing as it should be! Only two more weeks until the baby is considered to be full term (at 37 weeks), and then two more after that and my family will be here!!! :D

Lots to look forward to in May! I just hope that this last week of April goes by fast...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hello, Month Number Nine!

Here's me at 36 weeks today.
I thought I would never make it, but I am finally here! My first day into Month numero NINE!!!!

[insert excited clapping here]

Eric is leaving for Colorado on Friday and will be gone probably through the following Sunday, so you can be praying that the baby waits for his/her daddy to come home before coming out to play. ;)

I went in for my 36 week appointment yesterday and baby is continuing to measure a bit small, so I have an ultrasound on Friday afternoon to get it checked out and to make sure there aren't any complications going on in there. Other than being on the small side, the baby is doing fine, with a strong heartbeat and lots and lots of kicks!!!

The baby's room is all set now, just a few more items to buy and get settled before its arrival. I am so looking forward to meeting our baby, there are no words.

You might get lucky and see some new ultrasound pics up here on Friday! I think there will be quite a difference between what I see on Friday and what we saw when baby was only 20 weeks in the making! :) Unfortunately, Eric will already have left, so I am not allowed find out whether our shelves should be holding pink or blue... but if I happen to see anything.... [insert mischievous smile here]

Please pray for us in the coming weeks - for good health, good growth, and joyful spirits! :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Debate is Over!

After months of conversation, book reading, and lengthy debates, it is over. Yes, Eric and I have finally decided on a name should our baby be a girl. And no, I am not going to tell you what it is. If the baby is indeed a girl, then you will know. :P
My girlfriends were over here for our twice a month fellowship/girls night and when I told them what we had decided, they got really quiet and looked at me like I was from Mars. So, I'm not telling anymore.
But I will give you a hint. The first name is of Greek origin. And the middle name is German, and is the name of a family member. Good luck trying to figure it out. If you do indeed try... (heh heh heh...)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Revenge of the Vegetable Soup

Do you see this bowl of soup?
This was supposed to be my lunch yesterday.
Suffering through a terrible head cold, I lugged a large can of Italian vegetable soup all the way to work in order to eat it for lunch. So I am feeding Caleb lunch and have only taken two bites of my soup before I have to get up and blow my nose. As I am sitting back down in my chair, my enormous belly knocks into my bowl of soup, dumping hot vegetables and broth all over me, the table, the chair and the floor.
I looked at Caleb...he looked at me...we both looked at the mess...and then he started bawling. I felt like bawling too, but decided to keep control of myself for Caleb's sake.

I was covered with soup from the top of my belly all the way down to my shoe on the right side.
I spent the next half hour cleaning up the massive soup explosion and trying to console a crying Caleb, who was in his crib so I could clean up the mess. I smelled like soup for the rest of the day. I think the only good part about my clumsiness is that Kristy's floor got a good scrubbing.

So, Baby of mine, while Kristy may be happy about the outcome, your protrusion cost me my lunch...and I had to eat peanut butter and jelly instead and then suffer through hours of heartburn instead of enjoying nice hot soup to clear my sinuses. But it's ok. I still love you. And knowing me, even if you weren't inside me causing me to be constantly off balance, I probably would have knocked the bowl over anyway. At least I didn't break any dishes... ;)

Monday, April 12, 2010

This may make your poop green....but your mouth will have a party!!!

Kudos to Pete and Rachael (who live directly above us) for making the most delicious authentic enchiladas I have had in a long long time. We take turns cooking for our double dates, and we usually go with ethnic foods, since both of us couples love to cook and try new things (and watch cooking shows...haha...turns out I am not the only one! ). Friday night, they made these enchiladas... I was slightly skeptical, since I am used to terrible American tex-mex enchiladas unless I am in Mexico (I know...I am a food snob), but BOY was I in for a surprise!

Seriously, I do believe these were the best enchiladas I have EVER had!!!! Of course, Rick Bayless (the Chef of the Frontera Grill in Chicago) is a genius Latin American Chef, so he gets all the props for the creation, but don't let that intimidate you! These are pretty easy to make, are good for you, and incredibly creamy and delicious.

For people who are scared of spinach. Don't be. In this recipe, it is ground up into the creamiest sauce and you really can't even tell that it is spinach. Take it from me. These are AWESOME!

(Mom and sisters in Mexico, I expect you to try these within the week...don't let me down! :)

Enchiladas Especiales Tacuba Style

Enchiladas Cremosas de Pollo, Estilo Cafe Tacuba

Serves 4 to 6

This recipe is from Season 7 Mexico - One Plate at a Time


2 fresh poblano chiles
1 cup (lightly packed) roughly chopped spinach leaves
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter—or you can use vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup flour
3 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken (I usually use a rotisserie chicken or leftover grilled chicken)
12 corn tortillas
A little vegetable oil for brushing or spraying
About 1 cup Mexican melting cheese (Chihuahua, quesadilla, asadero or the like) or Monterey Jack, brick or mild cheddar
A little chopped cilantro for garnish


1. Make the sauce. Roast the poblanos directly over a gas flame or on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler, turning regularly, until the skins have blistered and blackened on all side, about 5 minutes for an open flame, about 10 minutes under the broiler. Place in a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and, when handleable, rub off the blackened skin, tear open and pull out the seed pod and stem. Quickly rinse to remove any stray seeds or bits of skin. Roughly chop and put in a blender jar. Add the spinach.

In a medium (3-quart) saucepan, combine the milk and broth, set over medium-low heat to warm.

In a large (4-quart) saucepan, melt the butter (or heat the oil) over medium. Add the garlic and cook for a minute to release its aroma, then add the flour and stir the mixture for a minute. Raise the heat to medium-high. Pour in the warm broth mixture and whisk constantly until the sauce boils. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Pour half the hot sauce into the blender with the chiles and spinach. Cover loosely (I remove the center part of the lid, secure the lid, then drape a cloth over the whole thing) and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining sauce. Taste and season with salt, usually about 2 teaspoons.

2. Finish the enchiladas. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Smear about 1/4 cup of the sauce over the bottom of each of four to six 9-inch individual ovenproof baking/serving dishes or smear about 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish. Stir 1 cup of the sauce into the chicken.

Lay half of the tortillas out on a baking sheet and lightly brush or spray both sides of the tortillas with oil; top each tortilla with another one and brush or spray those with oil. Bake just to warm through and soften, about 3 minutes. Stack the tortillas and cover with a towel to keep warm.

Working quickly so that the tortillas stay hot and pliable, roll a portion of the chicken up in each tortilla, then line them all up in the baking dish(es). Douse evenly with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until the enchiladas are hot through (the cheese will have begun to brown), about 20 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro and serve without hesitation.

And DO take his advice. Serve without hesitation!!! :P

Friday, April 9, 2010

I starved my cats...but now they love me

This week has been one of those mundane, get-through-the-routine weeks in my life, which is probably why I haven't had much to say lately. I babysat crabby little boys with runny noses, had some painful contractions (not to worry, though, everything is ok), and have been exhausted most of the time. But every week has its highlights, so here are a few of mine...

1.) I had an appointment with the Midwives this morning and Eric came with me this time since I was so overwhelmed when I had come home last time...and we ended up waiting for over an hour for an appointment that lasted all of 7 minutes and was slightly impersonal (which is not usually the case...) and did not leave me feeling at ease. Our baby is measuring a little small, but they are going to wait until my next appointment to see the growth and give me an ultrasound if it hasn't grown as much as it should have, since all has been normal so far. It is still as active as ever, though, and is head down, so no worries on that end!

2.) After an entire winter of trying to coax my geraniums to bloom, and failing miserably, they finally decided to give it a try as soon as it was April. Maybe they were just in hibernation or something. I like to think I know about gardening and plants, but let's be honest. I don't have a clue. Lucky for me, geraniums seem to be the only plant that my cats won't eat! And now that they are blooming again, they make the house feel a bit more cheerful.

3.) This week last year, I had my senior art show. This week this year, I finally sold my first piece of art!!!! Granted, it was a piece commissioned by my Aunt and Uncle, but they paid me for it, so it counts! Here it is lying on our dining room table. It is a 2 ft. by 4 ft. piece of Masonite that is cut into 5 pieces. The background was painted in acrylics, using various texturing techniques, and the tree is painted with India Ink that I applied to the board by blowing air through a straw with Tree of Life by yellowrose87.
my mouth. I was basically making a big version of this tree, which was up in my show last year. It was created in the same way, by blowing the ink around on the board's surface. It is by far my favorite way to make tree silhouettes, which, if you have seen any of my other work, you know that I am slightly obsessed with! :) Although I haven't updated it with recent work (most of which is still in the making...) here is the link to my flickr site in case you want to see more!

4.) This photo is for Kate. This is one of my buttermilk dinner rolls that I baked for Easter dinner last weekend. They were a huge hit! I was really impressed by how professional-looking they turned out! The recipe is from Marcy Goldman's Passion for Baking book, which I spend my down time reading like a novel (yes, yet another confession: I read cookbooks for pleasure reading :).

5.) I came into the dining room the other day and found Jack sleeping like this. He cracks me up. Out of all the comfy places to sleep in our apartment, he chooses to sleep half on top of several books, and squished between candles, picture frames, and games. What a weirdo! Cute, but weird.

6.) I starved my kitties for two days before I finally was able to feed them. I know. I am terrible. It's just that I had been telling Eric for the past week that they were almost out of food, but he didn't make any attempt to run to the store, and I was busy babysitting and was too tired to walk all the way there and back by the time I got home each night... So they starved for a while, and cried a lot until I finally made the trek to Jewel this morning and bought a little bag of food for them. They ate for like 10 minutes without stopping. And now they are sleeping with fat tummies and contented faces. I think they like me again! And don't worry mothers, I am sure that we will be less inclined to starve our children...

7.) I finally was able to talk with Alli on skype for the second time in months!!! We chatted for about an hour, while stray neighborhood kids ran through her house in the background... :P I miss her, but am happy that she is so blessed where she is right now.

8.) I took a huge leap of faith this week and called someone that the Lord has been laying on my heart for a few weeks now. I am going to lunch with this woman tomorrow and am praying that the Lord's presence will be with us and that I would love her as Christ loves her. Please pray with me that tomorrow will be a positive and uplifting experience!

9.) Was/am completely blessed by the presence of my sisters Elizabeth and Keziah in my life! We meet together for fellowship and prayer twice a month, and this week's meeting was truly rich and uplifting! Spiritual growth seems to be so much more rich when there are wonderful people to walk alongside. Eric and I are still waiting to hear from the Lord on a number of things, but in the meantime, we continue to be blessed...especially with the people in our lives.

10.) And last, but not least, I sat through ANOTHER Office re-run last night... Come on, guys! Really...that makes two re-runs in two weeks!

Today is cleaning up my apartment...the never ending saga...since I have a visitor coming tomorrow. And yes, sadly enough, the wax hands have to go. But don't worry, I will take a loving goodbye picture to remember always how they creepily graced our windowsill for two solid years....(ah, the sentiments of my college days as an art student...)

And that about does it.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Egg Advice

I never knew this until today, when I looked up in my cookbook how long to boil eggs for egg salad (you would think that I would know this by now...). You know when you are eating a hard boiled egg and the yolk has a greenish ring around it? Well, that means that it is actually over-cooked! I always boil my eggs forever...not realizing that this is what overcooked them and made them rather dry and unsavory inside.

So for all interested, (especially if you still plan on doing Easter eggs before Sunday...) here is how you make hard boiled eggs that are moist in the yolk and a lovely golden yellow instead of dry and green.

Put the eggs at the bottom of the pot - only one layer, don't try to do more or they won't cook right.
Fill the pot with COLD water so that the water is an inch over the top of the eggs.
Then cover the pot and heat until boiling.
As soon as the water is boiling, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for 15 minutes.
After the 15 minutes, immediately run the eggs under cold water or put them in a bowl of water with ice cubes until they are completely cool.

My eggs turned out lovely!!! I made a delicious egg salad for lunch and ate it in a warm fresh pita with crispy lettuce and grape tomatoes. Baby has been jumping and wiggling for joy ever since. I guess it likes egg salad! Or maybe baby was just happy that I finally ate something other than the malted milk ball egg things in our Easter basket from Eric's mom! ;)

Also, we are celebrating Good Friday rather nonreligiously by cooking a rack of pork ribs, green beans, potato wedges and salad... with Angel Food cake, strawberries and whipped cream for dessert! I guess we are just happy that the Lord is alive and has given us His life to enjoy fellowship with Him forever! So bring on those baby-back ribs!

Hot Buttered Popcorn Bread

Cooking and baking in the kitchen for me is the same as making art. It's what I love and what I am passionate about! If I had a bigger grocery budget, I would experiment much more, but for now, little rarities that require semi-normal ingredients will do!

Here is a fun bread recipe that Eric and I made together this week. Although it sounds strange, it is really delicious! :)

Hot Buttered Popcorn Bread

Thanks to Marcy Goldman and her book "Passion for Baking"

SERVES 16 , 2 large loaves (change servings and units)


  • 1/3 cup popcorn, to pop (about 5 C. when popped)
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 3 3/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 5-6 cups flour



  1. 1
    Grease two 9x5 loaf pans (or use a pizza pan and make it a round loaf).
  2. 2
    Pop the popcorn--do NOT butter!
  3. 3
    Whirl the popped corn through the blender, enough to make 2 1/2 cups.(it is very fluffy); set aside.
  4. 4
    In mixing bowl, mix water & yeast; let stand 2-5 minutes to dissolve yeast.
  5. 5
    Mix in sugar, oil, butter and salt; blend well.
  6. 6
    Add ground popcorn and 3 cups of the flour; mix well. Knead with dough hook on slowest speed--6-8 minutes, adding more flour to form a soft, bouncey dough.
  7. 7
    Remove dough hook, spray dough ball with cooking spray, cover bowl with large plastic (clear) bag; let rise 60-90 minutes, doubled in volume.
  8. 8
    Turn out dough onto lightly floured counter, gently punch down; divide in half and form two loaves; place in greased pans.
  9. 9
    Whisk eggie and sugar & salt in a small bowl; brush top of loaves with egg wash (set egg wash aside for later); cover loaves loosely with plastic wrap, rise for 45-60 minutes, doubled in size.
  10. 10
    Preheat oven to 375; brush loaves with egg wash, dust with cornmeal (optional).
  11. 11
    Set in oven and turn heat down to 350; bake until golden brown for 35-45 minutes.
  12. 12
    Pull bread from oven, liberally brush with melted butter; cool in pans for 10 minutes; turn out onto rack.
  13. 13
    Slice and eat. Yum!
  14. 14
    LEFTOVERS: Slice and toast. Try it with garlic-honey. Oh my!
  15. This is the same recipe I used...lucky for me, someone already typed it all out, so I copied and pasted it into here.
  16. A note for Kate: Don't worry about the dough hook thing...they are assuming you have a mixer that kneads dough. I kneaded it all by hand and it was fine, but make sure you knead it until it is smooth and light and if you gently poke it, the dough should bounce back into place quickly. Also, don't brush too much egg on the tops of the loaves. I put on too much and they ended up sinking instead of being big fluffy loaves...they were kind of short and flat. So just do a little bit of egg.
  17. Also, make sure you eat it fresh out of the oven!!! It is SO YUMMY warm and fresh!!!
  18. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Exciting Day

This is how exciting my day was yesterday:

Alli's miracle pants ceased to fit me. I almost cried when they refused to button. I never thought they would betray me so cruelly...but it happened.

Caleb stuck a rock up his nose....which I had to fish out of his tiny nostril while he screamed.

My blood sugar got really low yesterday evening while I was walking home from Western and I almost passed out, threw up, and died all at the same time. Luckily, a 7eleven appeared in front of me and I bought some fruit juice and drank it all in like two gulps. Then I took the 92 bus four blocks because I decided I couldn't walk any further.

Baby decided to spend all day yesterday growing (I think it may do this every day...). I can tell when it is going through a big growth spurt because I am the one that feels it...and believe me, every movement I have to make is like this giant effort that leaves me exhausted and completely out of also makes the skin over my abdomen stretch soooo tight and my lungs and stomach are pretty much crushed. Needless to say, I spent most of last evening laying down watching the new LIFE nature series (LOVE IT!!!). And after two weeks of baby moving its bulbous head all around my belly (causing much discomfort to mommy), I believe it is finally migrated head-down has the hiccups at the moment, and they are vibrating my pelvic bone.

Yeah. Yesterday was pretty much incredible, as you can tell. We shall see about today...