I really don’t want to be one of those people — you know, the ones who talk exclusively about pregnancy, babies and baby things — but today I’ve simply got baby on the brain so you’re getting a mini-earful of baby news.
• I’m at 30 weeks today and am still getting lots of kicks from my cucumber/cabbage size baby (and no, those two veggies are not similar in size at all…) who is approximately 2.75 pounds (which seems like an awfully heavy cucumber or cabbage…) and is about 16 inches long.
• I on the other hand cannot be compared to a fruit or vegetable as I feel that I am approximately the size of a beached whale, but other very kind people, my husband included, keep saying I look very fit for 30 weeks. I have lots of walking and Jazzercise to thank for that one! My fingers are crossed that the heat isn’t too bad this summer and I can keep up my exercise regime until the baby comes.
• To emphasize how “beached whaley” I am feeling, my husband and I were listening to classical musical for most of the afternoon yesterday and at one point, he started to dance with me. The next thing I knew there was a spin (no problem there) and a “lift.” Oh, my poor husband. I am pretty petite and stand 5′ tall whereas he is 6’1″ so typically a lift is no problem, but when he tried yesterday I’d say he got me about an inch off the ground and made such a horrible noise in his attempt to pick me up. Well, needless to say we both dissolved into laughter and I wasn’t feeling very petite anymore! He also said, “I definitely think this needs to go in the blog tomorrow.” So this one is for you, babe.
• It’s happened. I’ve started attracting the random belly rubs that I’ve been dreading all along and really, it is just plain weird. Why do strangers — and frankly even acquaintances — think that a woman wants them to rub her belly?? I’ve had good friends ask if they can touch my belly, which is fine, but people I barely know or don’t know at all? Paws off!
• Our baby hippo really likes being on the right hand side of my belly. I don’t know what it is — head, butt, elbow — but he frequently maneuvers himself so that I feel a huge hunk of baby sticking out. It’s always on the same side, usually in the same spot, and it is super weird. If I massage him, eventually he will find his way back into the normal realm of my belly space. All I can say is that creating a baby is definitely interesting!
• Over the weekend, my husband built the dresser that will also double as a changing table for our little hippo. Although we have a wall decal to put up for decoration, the room is pretty well put together. Now I can spend the rest of the summer (post-baby showers) washing tiny clothes and putting them, diapers and blankets where they belong. I’m trying to keep my nesting mania to a minimum for my hubby’s sake. I can see him rolling his eyes now.
Hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday!
I hate to sound like a Debbie Downer, but things have been a bit rough around our house the past few weeks. It all started on June 6, when my husband’s bike lock was cut on our front porch and the seatless ride was stolen (he kept the seat and helmet in the house). Two days later our water heater stopped working in the middle of my shower and yes, I had conditioner in my hair when everything went ice cold. Needless to say, that was less than awesome. Now, 10 days later, despite three visits from the plumber last week which included 5 minutes of hot water when it was “fixed” Friday morning, we are still without a functioning unit. Maybe today will finally be the day when a new switch gets installed and, dear God, if that doesn’t solve the problem there will be a seriously cranky pregnant lady over here!
On top of that excitement I managed to break — and when I say break I really mean shatter — a large, seriously heavy duty duralex drinking glass INTO the dishwasher. Ah, the joys of home ownership…
Since I am well into a rant, let me add that I’m 29 weeks pregnant and it’s approximately a million degrees outside (again) so needless to say I am a little on the uncomfortable side.
With all those negative things floating around, I’m trying my best not to focus on the bad stuff (although it sure doesn’t sound like it in the previous paragraphs, does it?). There are many things I am grateful for this week:
• We can afford to fix our hot water heater (if anyone ever figures out exactly what is wrong with it…), that we have no shortage of water here in DC and that my brother-in-law and sister-in-law live just down the block so we have somewhere to take warm showers (thanks guys!)
• Our garden is growing in leaps and bounds thanks to the numerous downpours last week. Also the flowers I planted around the outer borders of each bed are finally starting to bloom and add color to our backyard.
• Speaking of the garden, my hubby was able to pick an entire bowl of delicious, tart blueberries from one of our plots on Saturday morning. Yum.
• And speaking of my hubby, he finished re-painting our bedroom Saturday, taking us from red to a really lovely blue/gray. And with the help of my brother-in-law our furniture is no longer all in the middle of the room, which is a definite plus when it comes to navigating my many middle of the night trips to the bathroom.
• Work is busy, busy, busy which is always something to be pleased about.
• After living in DC for about 5 years, we finally have air conditioning in the house, which has been a huge relief.
• And our baby hippo is roughly the size of a butternut squash this week. Or an acorn squash, depending on what baby app I’m looking at. Also I am feeling lots of kicks and jabs and who knows what from the baby, which always makes me smile.
Speaking of hippos, look what came in the mail from our financial planner’s office the other day:
Here’s to keeping the bright side in focus, even on rough days!
It’s been a few days since we got back from our babymoon in Quebec, but visiting friends and work made life a bit too hectic for blogging. Without further ado, here’s a few belated details about our adventures in Canada last weekend:
68,672 steps walked
2,160 ml small batch sirop d’erable (maple syrup) obtained
748 pictures taken
6 museums visited/tours taken
6 meals had pork (pork belly appetizer, breakfast x2, pulled pork, ham & cheese croissant, ham & cheese crepe).
4 nights at a fabulous B&B (Au Bois Joli)
3 minutes to inhale my ham and cheese crepe at dinner the last night (after they lost our order tag and didn’t realize for AN HOUR that we were still waiting… I was about to eat off of the plates of the people around us! And let’s be honest, 3 minutes is being generous…)
2 days filled with unseasonably warm, sunny weather — I wish I had had shorts!
It all adds up to 1 amazing last pre-baby international adventure
When things like “upgrading your heating system” start to excite you, you have clearly reached a different phase in life. As a little girl, fun gifts and trips to Disneyland got me all riled up. When my hubby and I got married, I was surprised that I could get excited about receiving place settings and water glasses (but I did). And here we are, upgrading our heating system and I am excited about improving our lovely (but old) space. Old Lady Annie, reporting for duty!
Originally designed to run off of coal, our radiant heat has been running off the same monstrosity of a boiler since the house was built in 1936. This fuel oil beast, which seems to be about the same size as a bank vault, is a wee bit past its prime. Almost immediately after we moved into the house the thermostat stopped working, so since 2009 we have had to manually turn the heat off and on with a little switch that was installed by my husband and a friend. It basically jump started the system and has worked fine all these years, but with every flick, I said a little prayer that the whole boiler didn’t explode and take me with it.
Today the company that is replacing the system came and took away the asbesto shell that was around the core of the boiler (so what you see is actually smaller and taking up less room than it has all these years…). Tomorrow they will be back to remove this core and prepare to install the new system — a tankless, gas powered boiler that will be mounted on the wall like our energy efficient water heater (shown in the upper right hand corner of the image).
I can’t wait for this project to be completed so that we have a more efficient (and more functional system) in place for the winter, although it’s pretty hard to imagine it being cold right now. It’s also the unofficial kick off to our major renovation project which I am excited (and a little bit terrified) about. Many blogs about that will be coming soon, I’m sure!
It’s that time of the year where I have a continuous running dialogue of, “Goodness gracious it is HOT” going through my mind (and often coming out of my mouth). Unfortunately today is no different. In fact today it is not only hot, it’s REALLY hot. This morning at 8 am, the temperature was 80 degrees (doesn’t sound so bad, does it?) but the real feel was 100 degrees! At 8 am! This is one of those terrible weeks in DC where the temperature really never cools down below 80, so it’s hot all day and all night. I probably wouldn’t focus on the heatwave quite so much if I didn’t work from my un-airconditioned home.
Wait, before you get worried that in 15 minutes I’ll be laying in a crumpled heap next to my desk after passing out from heat stroke, I do have a window unit in my office and I run it all of the time when I am working from home. In fact, it is SO hot that when I use my AC I can keep it at the highest setting (cooling to 80 degrees) and it actually feels great.
But there are always a few weeks in the summer where I happily work from somewhere else whenever I can. Yesterday morning and this morning I’m working from my favorite coffee shop and I’ll likely migrate to a friend’s house for the afternoon.
Not having air conditioned office space (that someone else pays for) is probably the only thing I have missed during the 4 years that I’ve been working for myself. But with my flexible schedule and the option of working at my desktop or laptop, I can make due for the few weeks that are rough. I was reminiscing about how last summer wasn’t so bad, but then I remembered I spent 2 weeks working from California and 2 weeks wandering around Norway (where I most definitely was NOT working). Being gone for 4 weeks during the summer doesn’t hurt. Sadly this summer apart from our mini July 4 getaway, I am stuck in DC so my fingers are crossed that things start cooling down soon!
The garden is doing its best to power through the intense summer heat after enjoying the heavy rain we’ve been having. It looks like this week will be hot and dry — well, humid as all get out, but there are no thunderstorms in the forecast. Our sugar snap peas are long gone, but we are starting to get green beans and cayenne peppers. There are loads of tomatoes on the vines, but only one big tomato and a handful of cherries have actually turned red. And, of course, something ate the big tomato before we could enjoy it…
Thankfully our cucumber plant has been prolific this summer, which is fabulous since last year we only got about 3 cucs before the plant called it quits.
We’ve used at least 8 huge cucumbers so far in salads, for tzatziki, with hummus, and in spicy cucumber gazpacho and have these 4 in the fridge. There are 3 on the vine that are just about ready for picking. If you have a cucumber surplus like we do and are looking for a cool, refreshing dinner option, I recommend making gazpacho. It’s very flavorful, super easy to make and perfect for scorching summer nights. Enjoy!
SPICY CUCUMBER GAZPACHO*
2 large cucumbers, peeled and diced (set aside 1/4 cup of the diced cucumber for topping)
3/4 cup + 1 Tbls. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup ice water (I don’t usually add quite so much)
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup + 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1 Tbls. fresh lemon juice
1 small shallot, finely diced
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
1 Tbls. basil, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Combine the remaining cucumbers with 3/4 cup olive oil, ice water, garlic, 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, 1 jalapeno, and lemon juice in the blender. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and transfer to a serving bowl. Cover and put in the fridge until chilled. This is a great recipe to make the day before or in the morning so when dinner time comes, you only need to make the topping and it’s time to eat!
Stir the shallot, 2 tsp. vinegar, and a pinch of salt together in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes. Add the 1/4 cup cucumbers, basil, the remaining jalapeno, and 1 Tbls. olive oil. Season with salt if needed.
* from Williams-Sonoma Cooking from the Farmers’ Market Cookbook
We spent a long weekend California where we celebrated my birthday, America’s birthday and — the real reason behind our visit — a family wedding. Arriving late last Tuesday and heading back to DC even later last night, the past few days have been packed with family, food, and adventures.
We were able to spend the first few days in our hometown, catching up with our parents and extended family members. My parent’s dog, Bonnie, was particularly glad that my husband is back from Afghanistan. She just couldn’t get enough snuggles, despite the temperature topping more than 100 degrees when we were there.
The final 2.5 days of our visit we were in the Bay Area where we attended a rehearsal dinner, the wedding and a post-wedding breakfast. We also managed to wander on the beach in Half Moon Bay (where we saw some frolicking labs) and do some sightseeing in San Francisco. Despite how much was packed into 5ish days, everything went pretty smoothly.
The terrible plane crash at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday morning impacted our travel slightly, delaying our flight back to DC on Sunday evening about 2 hours, so instead of taking off at 11:30 pm we were on our way about 1:30 am. All things considered we had a safe flight and had nothing to complain about. This morning we were certainly rushing to get ready and start our delayed work days though.
Not surprisingly, this afternoon I am pretty wiped out, but I wanted to share a few pictures from the wedding. The location, Kohl Manor, and all of the details were exquisite. From the bright flowers to the tasty desserts and unique cake toppers to the bride’s dress and the groom’s purple sneakers, it was obvious that the couple wanted to make sure the wedding reflected their personalities.
As a special treat, the centerpiece at each table was given to the person whose birthday was the closest to the wedding day and since my birthday was on the wedding day, I was able to enjoy the pink and purple blooms interspersed with fragrant rosemary for an extra day (and I lugged the vase back to DC for future use). My hubby and I got a kick out of our trips to the photo booth and enjoyed our time on the dance floor, but most importantly the bride and groom were over the moon in love — who could ask for anything more?