This is What Two Looks Like.

November 17, 2009

Little Miss JuJu is two today, can you believe it? A few shots from the other day in her honor....
A pretty girl with lots to think about.
She's learned how to ham it up for the camera...
....and to let mom know when enough is enough.
She is just about the sweetest big sister I know.
And she's perfect right smack dab in the middle of our family.

This I Know.

November 15, 2009

My daughter and I will always agree on one thing: cookie dough is the best part of baking cookies. Didn't even need to teach her that.

The Tangerines Have Arrived.

November 12, 2009

We've been waiting for these to ripen for months now. They are still a little tart for me, but the kids can't keep their hands off them.
We spent the better part of the afternoon out by the tree, the kids taking turns picking, peeling and eating. Something tells me there won't be many left by the end of December (even though the tree is loaded this year).

World's Most Boring Video.

November 11, 2009

(Unless you're me.)

One of the things I'm determined to do differently, or at least better, this time around is enjoy every second of Little E's baby-ness. Especially these here little sounds (they don't last long enough!!):

Squeaks, Coos and Sighs from domestic reflections on Vimeo.

4 Weeks.

November 6, 2009

Sleepy baby yumminess. That's all.

The Birth Story: Part 1.

November 5, 2009

For some reason, I've had a really hard time sitting down to write this. I knew I wanted to do it, I just ....I don't know. But. Now that Little E is almost four. weeks. old. (how did that happen??), I figure it's now or never. (And yes, this is long and is going to take two entries. Sorry to those who aren't here for the childbirth stuff....I'll try to have some more recipes soon!!)

The place to start seems to be the week she was born. My dear friend Elise was here visiting from Boston, hoping to be here for the birth. She was supposed to go home Tuesday of that week, and we hastily extended her stay for a few more days to give the baby a little longer. On Thursday, Elise and I went for my check-up and there was "no progress." A little disappointing, but that's why the "theys" of the world tell you to not even get those sort of checks. I was especially disappointed because my doctor was on call that day and evening and it would have been perfect timing....

That evening, Elise and B and I sat around chatting, watching TV a bit. I went to bed before them because I was especially tired (and, truth be told, I didn't feel like watching Spinal Tap with them!!). At 1:45 a.m. I woke up to pee (as I did every night for months at least 3 or 4 or 5 times). Right after, I felt a little gush of water. Now. My labor started both times before with my water breaking. I had been told that it was almost certain my labor this time would start the same way. But my first thought is "Did I just....???" (I think that is every woman's first thought when her water breaks, right??) So, I went back to bed thinking that was that. Nope. More gushing. The reality started settling in and my heart started racing a little. I looked over at B sleeping soundly and decided I didn't want to wake him as he surely needed his rest since this was the real deal. He woke up maybe 15 minutes later as I'm sure he sensed my wide-eyed anxiousness and excitement. I told him my water broke and his first comment was "Wow. On your due date!" It hadn't occurred to me before then. C-Man almost two weeks late, JuJu three weeks early, and this one right on time. Third time's a charm, I guess.

B tried to go back to sleep and what did I do? Why, go into further nesting mode but of course! Making sandwiches and snacks for the kids, cleaning off my desk, folding laundry, writing more lists and instructions for my dad (who would be taking care of the older kids when we went to the hospital). Stuff, that in the end, didn't matter at all, but I couldn't do enough.

I hadn't started contracting, but this didn't surprise me as it took awhile for the other two labors to get going as well. I called my doctor (who was still on call at this point) and she told me I could stay home until the contractions came a few minutes apart. I went downstairs to tell Elise (who didn't believe me when I told her my water broke!). I texted my doula Ann to let her know what was going on but told her to sleep too. I didn't expect anything to get going for awhile. I called my parents a few times and no answer. I figured they were sleeping soundly, so it didn't really matter.

Finally, at 4 a.m. I talked to my mom and told her I was feeling some very, very mild contractions, but they weren't regular and I could have easily slept through them. I told her to stay put too. At 5 I started to get tired, so I went to lay down. Then the contractions started coming. Regular -- maybe 5 minutes apart, and starting to get strong quickly. They were long too. Some were a minute and a half, which definitely made me pay attention. By 5:30, I couldn't lay there anymore and got up to tell my parents to come over. B was up too, getting ready for what was ahead (whatever guys do for it, anyway).

Ann told me to eat, eat, eat so I went to make myself some fried eggs and toast. When I sat down, it was still dark and I had a quiet minute or two to really think about what I was going to be going through in the next hours and how all our lives were about to change. Just then, a little head poked around the corner. "Hi Mama." C-Man. H sat down with me and helped me finish the eggs. We didn't talk much. It was so nice to be there, just him and me. I was flooded with memories of my labor with him. It was so long and difficult, so fulfilling and life-changing.

When my mom arrived, I was contracting fairly hard. For some reason, I counted out loud through the contractions, sort of as a timing thing and sort of as a distraction thing. (Funny how each labor is different. I didn't count or walk through my contractions with the others.) I marched up and down the hallway and up and down the stairs. I walked from the living room to the kitchen and back again. It was the only thing that helped. I was very soon at the point of not being able to talk through them.

I kissed my babies goodbye and we got in the car. It was 7 a.m. I was really dreading that drive. The hospital is about 20 minutes away without traffic and there we were in the middle of morning commute time.

Stay tuned......

Golden Winter Soup.

See that sad, sad sidebar over there to your right? And all those "Recipes in the Queue" that never change? Well, I decided to finally do something about it and try a recipe. Golden Winter Soup. I first had it at Supper Club probably a year ago and have been wanting to make it ever since. It's going to be lunch today. Yum.

I've made and enjoyed many versions of Butternut Squash Soup over the years. I like a slightly sweet version, I like chunky ones, spicy ones. This one is simple and hearty. Perfect with a salad or a turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce. Which I plan on having later on.

Golden Winter Soup

From Cooking Light

2 tablespoons butter
5 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled russet potato (about 12 ounces)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups sliced leek (about 2 medium)
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons chopped chives
Freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add squash, potato, salt, and pepper to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add leek; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring occasionally. Place half of potato mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining potato mixture. Stir in half-and-half.

43 Weeks (Last Friday).

November 2, 2009

This tripped me out. She was in my belly just three weeks ago?? She looks huge to me. So hard to believe.
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