Monday, October 30, 2006

Fluffy the three-headed dog

Fluffy relaxes

Okay, so Otis didn't grow two new heads, but he did go to the groomer for a bath and a brush-out this morning. He's so fluffy and cute...not to mention he smells good again. I don't know what he got into that had him smelling so terribly rotten, but I'm glad the odor is gone. In other Otis news, we got him a new toy this weekend- a food cube. It is a big blue die that you fill with kibble. The inside is like a maze, so they have to bat the cube around to get the food out. Otis hasn't quite figured out what to do, but he's been completely occupied trying to figure it out since Saturday afternoon. He just keeps trying to get inside the cube to the food as opposed to realizing that he can get it out. It's great fun for the whole family.
Otis as "The Flash"

Aside from canine parenting, M and I had a very busy weekend around the house and around town. We ran a few errands on Saturday- including ordering a rocking chair for S's room. It should be here in about six weeks. We took Otis with us to run errands, so he's been very happy with all the recent car rides. We also went to the neighborhood Halloween party Saturday night (as Britney Spears and K. Fed). I put approximately zero effort into my costume and it was obvious. I didn't care then, and I don't care now. Preggers in a Halloween costume is not my idea of a good time. Yesterday, M spent the morning in the yard, cutting back the hostas for winter and mulching the leaves. It took a long time. Then we played "musical rooms." There is a room off our kitchen that has served as a den/office, and the dining room was around the corner off the living room. The dining room was substantially smaller than the den, and with our new bigger table and chairs and the buffet, it was becoming very difficult to get around the table, let alone sit at the table. We decided to switch the rooms out. It didn't sound like it would be a massive undertaking, but it turned out to be. The house is pretty much in shambles at this point, but it's getting there, and I'll post pictures as soon as it looks a bit less like a war zone. I was mostly proud of myself for helping get the extra couch up the stairs. I felt like pregnant She-Ra. We also took S's furniture from the garage into her room, so her room is getting there, too. It's all starting to come together around here.

Our front door

Friday, October 27, 2006

The generics

Do you ever realize that you are staunchly weird about some things? Do you ever realize how weird you are for even acknowledging your random eccentricities? It's a constant inner monologue for me. As I lay awake from about 3:30-4:30 this morning, I was thinking about this. The particular oddity I was mulling over was my blatant refusal to buy certain things in their generic form. While I am an ardent supporter of the availability of generic prescription drugs, I won't buy generic peanut butter. Go ahead, give me the knock-off Paxil, but don't skimp on the Peter Pan. It's silly.

Either way, I started trying to make a list of things that I won't buy unless they are the "real thing." Here's a start:

Peanut butter: I have my moments when I think about how bad the Peter Pan of my youth is for me...with all the sugar and hydrogenated oil and such, but I just love it. Plus, I hate having to stir up the all-natural stuff. I can't tell you how many shirts I ruined in college trying to mix the oil into my organic peanut butter. In the end, creamy Peter Pan will win every time, and it makes me feel like I'm six.

Cereal: I did the whole "Special K" diet thing last spring (and I LOVED it), and despite the fact that the Kroger brand Special K was something like two dollars cheaper a box, I couldn't do it. I kept remembering this one time when my mom brought home a knock-off version of Fruit Loops when I was little. They were gross, and I made up my mind about the importance of name brand cereal right then. I think those fake Fruit Loops lived in the pantry for about ten years because no one would touch them.

Those are the big ones with explanations, but here are some more: Pop-Tarts, Eggos, cake mixes, olive oil, pasta sauce, orange juice, yogurt, toilet paper, kosher salt, trash bags. On the flip side, there are some things that I always cheap out on...pasta, tea bags, cheese for cooking (somewhere DTS's head is exploding), pre-packaged peanut butter crackers, paper towels, aluminum foil. It's all very bizarre. Is anyone else out there like this?? Is it just me?

Onto another subject: FIVE SENSES FRIDAY

Taste: I feel obligated to say peanut butter. Also, the banana I ate for breakfast. Chocolate cake. Biscuits with real butter and honey from Tupelo Honey.

Touch: Hugs from friends, Otis flinging water off himself- onto me.

Sight: Otis when I got home Sunday. M returning home Sunday.

Smell: "Noodle soup" cooking the other night. Otis (not in a good way).

Sound: M singing "Ooby Dooby" from the Elizabeth Mitchell album my friend Laura gave me. Listening to him sing, "wiggle and shake just like a rattle snake" while actually attempting to shake like a rattle snake is worth charging admission.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

So tired

I have zero energy. When I say zero, I mean it in the "absolute zero" sense. I can't wake up, and when I am awake, I am barely cognitive. Maybe it's because I'm having trouble sleeping, who knows, but it's driving me bonkers. Swim class is in six hours, and I am already dreading it because I feel like I'm too tired to go. This is not fun. I had heard that the pregnant fatigue would return toward the end, but I was assuming/hoping that "the end" meant week 40. I have way too much to do to be this exhausted. Yesterday, I had to lie down after doing laundry and dishes. This is do people work while growing babies? My aunt told me that she used to hide in unused offices and cubicles and take naps.

I don't even have the energy to keep typing...not to mention that I haven't done or thought about anything worthy of chronicling. I've got my fingers crossed that I am just fighting off a cold or something and that my energy level will pick back up...wish me luck with that one!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The traveling P's return

M and I both survived our trips over the weekend, and once again Otis is thrilled that we're home. M had a nice, relaxing weekend (as relaxing as a bachelor's party weekend can be, I suppose) and enjoyed being the only person on the boat not to get sea sick. I had a great time in Asheville with my friends, many of which I hadn't seen in over two years, which is just WAY too long. Barring family drama, I hope to not have to wait that long to see them all again.
The weather over the weekend was gorgeous- just chilly at night. Thank goodness for pregnancy blubber- I was the only one not freezing. Speaking of gorgeous, the drive through the mountains was unbelievable. I only wish I'd been riding instead of driving so I could've actually looked at it a little more. Unfortunately, I didn't get a lot of pictures...mainly because I dropped the camera and thought I'd completely wrecked it. While I was upset about the whole thing, M the super-hubby was able to fix it last night. I was feeling very guilty and very much like a four-year-old that you can't trust with electronics. Maybe I should invest in one of those new digital cameras by Fisher Price.

I got some wonderful gifts at my very first baby shower. Having things for S makes me that much more anxious for her arrival. It was a perfectly wonderful shower...most of us sitting around in our pajamas eating grits and biscuits. I don't suppose it gets much better than that.

Now that we're home, we are excited about NOT traveling anywhere this weekend...unless you count walking across the park to a Halloween party as traveling. We thought we were going to be home non-stop until Thanksgiving, but it turns out M has to go to Iowa in two weeks and spend the entire week there in meetings. Awesome. We figure my "on the road" days are numbered as I was so tired when I got back from this trip and being in the car was getting pretty hard on my back. Sitting for long periods of time is getting more difficult. Then again everything is getting more difficult. Rolling over in bed now takes an act of congress (okay, that's an exaggeration, but it does take at least a motion from the floor). The joys of pregnancy.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Hit the road, Jack

It's been a hectic week around here. My brother was here from Monday to Wednesday, which was awesome, and M left for Philly yesterday morning. My body can't seem to figure out what day of the week it is because my schedule has been so thrown off. Otis's internal clock is even more out of whack. Now I'm getting ready to head to Asheville for a girls' weekend, and Otis has already figured out that I'm leaving because I put a canister of his food out on the counter. Sometimes, he's pretty smart. He's being pouty. Everything will be back to normal on Sunday!!

Five Senses Friday:

Sight: Otis sleeping in the crook of Drew's arm on the floor Monday night. I was unable to get a picture, but it was adorable.

Sound: Our neighbor's new baby yawning

Smell: the chicken teriyaki I made for dinner Tuesday, the apple bread that's baking right now

Taste: again, the chicken teriyaki...also the dumplings I made Monday night

Touch: Otis's soft fur now that it's clean again...he is so soft after baths.

Have a great weekend!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

What's left of me...

...not in a Nick Lachey sort of way.
I'm talking strictly about the apple bread. It is rapidly disappearing, so it will earn it's place in the "World's Greatest Cookbook" (aka- the binder of recipes that have earned their "M Approved" stickers). My brother is theoretically coming to visit this afternoon, so as soon as I get to the grocery store for the required orange juice, I am going to make an apple pie. I should really be making him a chess pie, but I think they are gross, so I don't make them. Besides, I've still got a fair few apples to work with. Also on the cooking front, I'll be taking some food to our neighbors who just had a new baby girl on Saturday. She'll be home this afternoon, and I am looking forward to meeting her.

On another happy note, M surprised me by being home before noon yesterday, so I was able to sneak in almost a whole day with hubby. I was afraid he wouldn't be back until late afternoon, and we're both out of town this coming weekend, so I was having preemptive withdrawals. Otis was also very happy that his dad was home. We took him for a walk and gave him a bath, so he's a much happier (and cleaner) dog now. Speaking of...I couldn't resist a picture of him with the globe...he's a four-legged geographer. Watch out Haley Beast, Otis is moving in on your territory!! Sorry the picture turned out a little blurry...I forgot I had the flash turned off, and I'll blame it on that instead of my highly inept photography skills.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Apple bread

Okay, Negative Nancy has left the building (pretty much). Yesterday was a test of my patience as Otis was a holy terror, but it's a new day, so I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt and acting like he's a little angel. Of course, he's probably in the living room eating a throw pillow...I also made myself some hot chocolate this morning- the real stuff with cocoa powder- so the day can't be that bad yet. In an attempt to make myself feel better yesterday (and to continue to whittle away at our supply of apples), I made an apple quick bread, which turned out to be a hundred times better than I'd anticipated. I'd post a picture, but the camera is in Indiana with hubby. Here's the recipe for any of you who are interested. I tweaked it a little, so here's exactly what I did.
Apple Bread
3/4 c AP flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1-1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 c sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/4 tsp vanilla
1-1/4 c peeled, coarsely chopped apple
1/2 c chopped walnuts
  • Combine first five ingredients, and set aside.
  • Combine next five ingredients, and stir into flour mixture.
  • Fold nuts into batter.
  • Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

I baked mine in a 8x4 loaf pan, and I had to add a little extra baking time for the center to get done.

Totally unrelated to the apple bread or me, I saw something funny that I wanted to share. This came from an article on MSN about great Halloween movies for kids. While the list somehow managed to omit my personal favorite, Hocus Pocus with Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker, it did provide this little nugget of comedy regarding the glory of Halloween as a holiday:

Costumes are the real work item here, and you don't even have to work hard or spend a lot to have a good one. I once put my daughter in a garbage can with a sign that said, "CANDY IS BAD FOR KIDS. PUT YOURS HERE." She cleaned up.

That cracked me up almost as much as the "Word to Big Bird" onesie I saw yesterday. I love things that are funny.

Happy Sunday, peeps.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Oh so pregnant

The past couple of days have been less than stellar. I am feeling miserably pregnant, and highly aware of all of my current pregnancy symptoms. So, since this is my blog and no one can stop me, this is my complaint post.

I told M last week that I feel a bit like a bad mother already because I really don't like being pregnant. My aunt Melanie says that doesn't make me a bad mother, it makes me a bad pregnant person and that's okay. She pointed out that my being a good or bad mother remains to be she snickered.

Here's my list of reasons that I don't like being pregnant right now:

1. Iron supplements and prenatal viatmins. These are making me feel sick. I have to take one in the morning and one before bed because the iron overload has to be spaced out. Therefore, I spend the first several hours of my day feeling like "the pukes" are coming back, and then I can't sleep at night because of the overwhelming feeling of queasiness.

2. Pre-newborn sleepless nights. I've never been one to wake up at night for anything. Now half of my night is spent awake. I was prepared for this once the baby arrives, but I'm not giving birth for fourteen weeks. Firstly, there are the potty breaks. It takes just long enough to get up and pee for my brain to wake up. I usually lie awake for about an hour after the potty breaks, desperately trying to go back to sleep. Secondly, I have become an even lighter sleeper, so my poor husband gets elbowed constantly for snoring and (get this) breathing on me. Lastly, I just wake up for no reason. For the past three nights, I have woken up at 4:18 on the nose. I am convinced that's what time S will be born. I miss my champion-sleeper days. I realize they are gone forever.

3. Sleepy fingers. While the rest of my body lies awake, my fingers are always going to sleep. It's another of the reasons that I wake up in the middle of the night. Nothing like pins and needles to jerk you from peaceful slumber.

4. Constant trips to the bathroom. The middle of the night isn't the only time I have to pee. I am constantly on the way to or from the restroom. When M and I are out, I am always looking for a bathroom, and even Otis is getting used to the constant up and down of me going to the bathroom. He doesn't even follow me out of the room anymore until he makes sure I'm headed somewhere more interesting.

5. My aching ears. This one is weird- I've not read anything about it in any books or on any websites. My ears have become insanely sensitive. I haven't been able to wear earrings in about 26 weeks because they make my earlobes itch. I already had sensitive ears, so all of my earrings are the "sensitive ear" kind. Also, I have to be careful how I lay my head down. If my ears are on anything other than pillow or if they are "crinkled over" or anything is at all amiss, I can't stand it. Yet again, it wakes me up at night. I have tiny ears...the fact that they are waking me up because they are folded over just annoys me.

That's likely enough whining about being pregnant. I love that I am having a baby...I love my baby, and I don't even know her. I just can't handle the pregnant part of it. It's so obnoxious. I'm almost done, I just have to get these off my chest: the chocolate cravings, the hormonal swings, the exhaustion, the imbalance, and the headaches are just a few more things that are grating on my nerves.

That being said, I am done, and I hope that doesn't make me a bad mother!!

Here's also a shout out to KF in Buffalo...I hope you aren't buried under snow! Stay warm...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fall is falling

So last week's, "drive into fall" was a fluke as it warmed right back up the next day. It's been in the 70's all week. Of course, from what I've seen on the news, the entire country is essentially experiencing abnormally warm or cold temperatures right now. Go figure. A major cold front is supposed to plop down on top of us in the next day, and it seems to be rolling in already. The rain came in the middle of the night (I noticed it on pee-break #2 at 3am). Of course, the rainy conditions mean that Otis is bored as he isn't allowed to spend a lot of time outside when it's this wet...not to mention the fact that he refuses to go out while it's actually raining.

On the baby front, I am having one of those hormonally charged days, so everything makes me weepy. I've been watching some of the baby shows this morning, and the most adorable little "great grandparents" came to visit one of the babies. They were talking about how they've been married for 62 years and how excited they are about the new baby. It was adorable...all it did was make me think about how excited I am for my granddaddy to take S out for a tractor ride someday soon. I love watching my granddaddy with little kids. To be such a rough-and-tumble farmer, the RC is a softie under there. I love him, and I wish I got to see him more often.

I also haven't posted any of my favorite things lately, so here's a little something. Actually it's a lot of somethings as it's a loaded picture. I love my kitchen, and here's a corner of it. The counter is a little crowded right now with the cake plate being out, but you get the idea. The faves in the picture: my green cabinets, my lovely white dishes in neatly organized stacks, my glasses (not including the wine glasses that are tucked away in various homes), my pink mixer, my cake plate, and my dessert plate collection that lines the ceiling all the way around the room. I told you it was a loaded picture, but I really do love my kitchen. If it had an island and barstools, I'd likely never leave it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

God loves a terrier

It's been a pretty low-key day and a half around here. Yesterday, I was totally exhausted from all the painting and such over the weekend, so Otis and I basically laid around all day. We watched Best in Show, hence the post's title. I really think it's one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. The only thing I actually did yesterday was make dinner, which continued the week's apple theme. Five-spice chicken with apples and cranberries. It was WAY yummy, and I am looking forward to having some of the leftovers for lunch!!

I'm off to run errands in a bit, which will include picking up the iron supplement that I have to start taking. After that, it's off to M's business dinner, which is the first thing I've had to get "dressed up" for since the belly started growing out of control. That should be interesting.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Baked apple slices

So I came across a recipe online that I was able to tweak for the baked apples with marshmallows. They turned out to be absolutely fabulous, so I wanted to share. I cut the rcipe in half as it was just me and M, but I'm giving you the full quantities. Enjoy...

Baked Apple Slices

4c sliced apples
1c sugar
1/2 c AP flour
1 stick butter
1/2 c water

Place sliced apples into a 9x13 baking dish. Mix together the sugar, flour, and butter until crumbly. (I added a lot of cinnamon to this mixture, but the original recipe only called for a dash of cinnamon added on top. M really loves cinnamon, though.) Sprinkle mixture over apples. Pour water over the top, sprinkle with cinnamon and a dash of salt. Bake at 350 until apples are almost done (depending on how soft you want your apple slices, I guess) and "sauce" is golden and bubbly. Top with marshmallows and return to oven to melt.

You could also add nuts, but I thought it was really good without. The marshmallows were a nice addition to something pretty standard, but don't overdo it as the sauce is pretty sweet on its own, and I wouldn't want to send anyone into insulin shock. Also, after about twenty minutes, I turned the oven up to 450 as I was also making biscuits. I don't suppose it made much difference except to speed up the cooking time a bit.

Oh, I also wanted to mention that the Vols kicked Georgia's tails last night, and it was awesome. I had been concerned that the only thing UT would win in Athens would've been a foot race between Smokey and Uga. I was pleasantly surprised.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Apple picking

It's a lovely fall day...perfect for picking apples, so that's what we did. We worked a little around the house first. I worked more on painting S's furniture, and M put together her crib. Then we headed out to Evans Orchard in Georgetown. The weather is absolutely gorgeous, and neither of us had ever picked apples or been to a pumpkin patch, so it was a first for both. We can't wait to take S in the coming years. There were loads of little kids playing in the corn maze and on the giant "hay mountain" slide. There were also lots of babies having their pictures taken amongst the piles of pumpkins. While we didn't venture into the pumpkin patch, we did stroll through the rows and rows of apple trees, excitedly looking to see what new kinds of apples we could discover. We had a great time.

Now that we have a "peck" of apples, I suppose I should do something with them. M has been talking about his mom's baked apples, so I'll try to figure that one out. She topped them with marshmallows like a sweet potato casserole, which I'd never heard of but am more than willing to try. Speaking of apple delicacies, no recap of our afternoon would be complete without a listing of the goodies we tried while at the orchard: I had an apple cider donut and apple cider; M had a fried apple pie and apple cider. It was his first experience with a fried apple pie as he's been unable to get his hands on one of my Aunt Dollie's. For the record, Aunt Dollie's are better, but those things are like gold, making them very difficult to come by!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Chilly Willy

The temperature has taken a nose dive since yesterday morning. It was in the upper 70's I think. The high today is low 60's. I realize that's not fall weather to those of you on or from the east coast, but I'm sort of used to not thinking about fall weather until around Thanksgiving. It seems pretty chilly this morning to me. In fact, as I was driving to swim class yesterday afternoon, I felt like I drove through a magic portal to was sunny outside and seemed plenty warm, but as I drove over a hill, I could see the hazy gray skies and sprinkles ahead of me. By the time I got to the Y, it was full-on overcast with a consistent drizzle. The air was also quite cool. So, I think I drove right into fall this year, and I don't mind a bit. I just want winter to stay far, far away. Nice, crisp fall air I can handle. Biting winter cold is for the birds...well, not even for them, they are smart enough to head south!!

As we head into the weekend, M and I have our plates full with trying to prepare for S. Our weekends between the eras of pre-S and S are rapidly filling up with last minute trips out of town and holidays and "my belly is in the way, I'm worthless." We're hoping to get a lot done tonight and Saturday as M is headed to Cincy for a massive paintball war on Sunday.

Five Senses Friday

Sight: K's little booty when we got to the door. All of our friend's faces in Memphis. Otis when we got back home.

Sound: S's heartbeat. (I've yet to get sick of that one.)

Smell: Chocolate store at Peabody Place, chocolate cake baking

Touch: Hugs from friends, the perfect temperature of the water in class yesterday

Taste: Cheese fritters from Amerigo, the oatmeal with cinnamon I'm eating right now, chocolate/vanilla swirl, ice cold milk, peanut butter and banana sandwich...this is a dangerous question right now

Update: Otis just ran through the house covered in mud...meaning that most of the morning will now involve scrubbing up nasty, muddy paw prints. Fantastic. Has there ever been a stronger case for floors that can be mopped??

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The incredible shrinking button

I've never paid much attention to my belly button...who really does past the age of three? I am, however, starting to become acutely aware of it. M has taken to rubbing my belly and poking at my belly button and laughing at how little it's getting. Mostly, I just slap at his hand and roll my eyes at him. It's getting to the point now, though, that I feel like it's shrinking more and more. I guess I'm approaching that major turning point in pregnancy...the popped cork. I'll admit that I actually looked at my belly button today and was shocked to see how little it's becoming. I feel like any second now I'm going to look down and see my belly button just shoot out like that air thingy on a beach ball. I wonder...will I feel it "pop"? Is it a all-at-once thing, or is it gradual? If I do feel it, what will it feel like? It's a very strange thing to find myself thinking about.

In other baby news, we're trying to wrap our brains around the whole baby registry thing as we'd like to get that taken care of this weekend. I got some really good advice from MoWask and ABM while we were in Memphis, so it's a matter now of absorbing it all and deciding what will work best for us. The car seat/stroller/travel system question is looming large in my head right now, and I'm not sure what decision we'll make on that one. It's a never-ending cycle of questions that involves safety, convenience, consumer ratings, and personal choice. Of course, the need for my making a lot of decisions comes at a time when I am finding it impossible to make decisions about anything. For example, I knew I wanted to bake some sort of dessert yesterday, but I was having trouble deciding between an apple cake and a chocolate pound cake. I called M and asked his opinion, and my inquiry was met with the usual reply of, "whichever you want." I almost cried instantly at the thought of having to choose. There have been dozens of instances just like that in the last couple of weeks. I need a magic 8-ball.

For the record, the chocolate pound cake won, and M made the decision for me. I love my husband.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Home again, home again

I just spent a very long time working on this post- recapping our trip and adding pics. They disappeared, and I am very upset. I'm going to try re-adding the pictures, and I'll leave the trip recap for your imaginations. Glad to be home...
DCHS Homecoming
Sidewalk Artists
Ol' Man River and the Memphis Queen
S's first trip to the zoo