Friday, April 29, 2011

Stupid Cramps

I have sharp cramps again like the last time. I want them to go away. Now!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Birthday Vacation Day 3

Our last day in DC

This is supposed to be zoo day. My prior checks of the weather said a small chance of rain, but overall a great day for being outside. However, when listening to the local news, their weatherman is saying an 80% chance of rain all day. Bummer. I check the acuweather off my phone and it's still claiming a small chance of rain. Since there's only clouds at the moment, we decided to make a go of it and head out.

Since dinner at 14K was fantastically great, we decide to forego the crepe breakfast and get a full meal at the hotel. What a bummer of a decision. It was just breakfast. Nothing great, nothing bad. By the end we were wishing we had just gotten the crepes again.

Today is also our Metro day. We were able to just walk everywhere, but the zoo is a bit of a hike. We check the map and see the red line stop is just a few blocks away. Our legs are feeling a bit better after the rest of the night before, so we're doing okay. DC is truly a beautiful city, at least the part we saw anyway. We find our station, and find out it's closed. What?! I didn't realize they close certain stops on the weekends. Ok. Another few blocks up is another stop. Sure why not. We keep walking. Eventually we find an open station. However, the escalator is not working. Not usually something I complain about, but um, do you know how many steps are on an escalator to a Metro in DC? I do now.

After some explanation from a very helpful attendant, we get our fare tickets and are ready to go. One stop. We had walked all the way to one stop from the zoo. oh well, that's how it goes I guess.

This was the first time either of us had been, so this was a nice visit.

Bummer of the day was that the Apes and Orangutangs weren't out. We tried to go through the Ape room to see them all, but it was incredibly crowded. I guess that's what a Saturday, on Easter weekend, on a sunny/70* day. (yeah, the local weatherman got it totally wrong). I'm so glad we went for it.

After making it back to the city area we were staying in, we stopped for a gellato (I forgot the name of the place we stopped), we figured we'd spend the rest of the day outside. As we were walking past the hotel it was 2PM again. I swear, it was like that hour had a magnet sucking us back to the hotel.

My first thought was to spend the afternoon people watching in the park, but apparently too many people also had that idea, and were making their homes there, again, literally. So we moved on, and sat in the park out front of the White House. There was some sort of protest going on. We were playing a great game of "guess that flag" as more people started showing up.

While we were walking, I had a great question asked of me by my mother. She's not a hockey fan, I am. She was wondering why there were so many people wearing the same shirt. Well, I had to explain first that the Capitals were in the play-offs, second that Ovechkin is one of the best players in the league right now, and third that the determining game was being played just a few blocks away. Yeah, she's not really a sports buff. We grabbed our first chain dinner. Subway. We were hoping to get pizza, but our legs hurt and it was too far away. We called it a night watching play off hockey and packing for our 2AM start to the travel home.

It was a fantastic trip. I am so glad I went and so happy we came home when we did. Three days was plenty, I missed AJ horribly at that point, and I got to see most of her Easter.

Birthday Vacation Day 2

So, on to Day 2

It was supposed to be a cold, rainy and just gross day. Good day for museums. First though, we had to go back to Point Chuard for another crepe breakfast. This time apple brown sugar. Sooo good!

Since it wasn't raining at the time we left breakfast, we stopped at the front of the White House. In all the times my mother had been, she's never seen the front. That was on her list of must-sees. She was hoping to see a sniper on the roof, but didn't get that lucky

I'm not sure how I managed to get a pic without a group of people in front of me, but somehow it worked. There was a couple trying to take a picture of their tiny dog alone in front. He was small enough to fit through the bars of the fence. Yeah, the police weren't a fan of that idea. It was pretty funny to watch that exchange. The woman couldn't understand what the problem was.

Alright, moving on. We get to the museum at 9AM. We lingered over breakfast, stopped for the above photo op, stopped at the White House Gift Shop and still, it was only 9AM. The problem you see, museums don't open until 10AM. Grreat, it's windy, cold and starting to rain. We spent the next hour huddled under the overhang of the Natural History Museum. After a few rounds of Words with Friends and watching people, the doors finally open.

I get in and see my dinosaur. I have never seen one, and that was on my list of must-sees, so I was able to check that one off the list. By 11AM we were done with that one, and ready to move on. I mean, really, I don't understand how we could have spent any more time in there than we did. We saw the bones, the gemstones, the whale, what else is there?

Baby decided it was time for an early lunch. Again, not wanting to pay outrageous prices for bad food, we move away and head up to a real place for food. Corner Bakery. Like Panera I guess. Quite tasty sandwiches though, and mighty yummy mini-monster cookies. As we're walking up to the restaurant it starts to downpour. We watch the rain during lunch and make a quick stop into Filene's Basement for an umbrella as I don't own one. I pick it out, buy it, put it up, and of course, no more rain. Figures.

Thankfully though, the rain made the line to get into the American History Museum much shorter. Here is where we were able to make two more checks off our list

Julia Child's kitchen and the Bunker's chairs. Yep, that's where our interest in American History lies. We did of course look at a lot of other things there, but these were the highlights.

Due to the pain our legs were in from all the walking the day before, we were pretty much broken and hobbling back to the hotel. Again, we got in by 2PM. Hung out in the room until dinner and decided to go to the hotel restaurant to stay out of the rain. 14K had seriously the best dinner I've ever had. A-MAZ-ING I had a kobe burger with an onion tomato relish and truffle mac&cheese, with cherry creme brule for dessert. I'm still salivating over the thought of it.

Our legs couldn't handle much more, so that was the end of Day 2

Birthday Vacation Day 1

My mother and I planned a vacation for ourselves this year. I will be turning 30 in a few short weeks, and she turned 60 a few weeks ago. So, we decided to treat ourselves and actually take a vacation. Wednesday M dropped AJ off at daycare like normal, and he then drove us down to Boston to catch the train. We went to Washington DC for a few days. It was great.

Thanks to some internet friends, I got some help on where to stay, and we ended up at a fantastic hotel within walking distance to almost everything, but still far enough away to not be too touristy.

The view from our room. We had a nice park close, and were able to see the Washington Monument in the distance. It was great, well, unless you were looking at the park benches. Looks like a lot of people had made themselves at home, literally, on them. Our first day was spent taking an 8 hour train ride down. It was actually a great way to travel I think, if you're not in a rush. It was nice to see the areas passing, and be able to walk around, having someone else do the driving.  Once we got there, we took a cab to the hotel. We were thinking of walking, but realized we had no idea which direction to even head in. Plus I don't have a bag with wheels. So, yeah, not going to happen.

Our first full day there, was beautiful. 60s and sunny, a little breezy, but very nice. We took that day to do all the outdoor walking in the area. We started out having breakfast at Point Chuard, a crepe restaurant near the hotel. To Die For! Strawberry Nutella crepe. Yum.

Off we go down to the Mall area. We walked the 7ish blocks to the Washington Monument, then over to see Lincoln. I have never been to DC so everything was new. I was trying to remember which areas I was told were must sees. Everyone talks about the view from Lincoln's stairs. Well, I must say, I don't know what the hype is all about.

I guess I just assumed there would be slightly more reflective-ness to this area. I was also thinking there was water, not a ginormous sandbox. It did make for some great jokes as we walked along the fence though. After checking out Lincoln, the Vietnam, Korea and WWII Memorials, we started back towards the Mall, by way of the water so we could watch the paddleboats. There was one group, two teenage boys and their mother. We were really figuring we'd see Mom swimming soon since she was just sort of sitting in the back while they drove/peddled. No such luck there though.

We walked up the mall, only stopping at the Castle since we were planning another day for the museums. I can say, the Castle, not very impressive. Quite boring actually. My mother had always wanted to go in though, since she's been visiting a few tims and never had the chance. I don't think either of us will go back anytime soon. We made it to the Capital, sat on the lawn for a few and moved further back to see the Superior Court. It was on my list of things I really wanted to see. The front of the Capital is quite beautiful though. I don't think I ever realized this.

So, for those keeping track. We started our walk at 8AM. At this point in our excursion, it's now noon. Either we didn't stop as often as we should have been, or we just walk way too fast. We had both anticipated a whole day of seeing these sights. But, we were now done, and it was lunch time. We also realized we were tired and many, many, many blocks away from the hotel. We didn't feel like spending $3 on a water or $2.50 for a granola bar, so we took the Concierge up on her info to head to 7th street for lunch. No idea what we were looking for, but stopped in at District Chop House & Brewery. Mmmmm Very nice.

We made it back to the hotel by 2PM. We both looked like we'd been riding a horse all day. A twilight bus tour was booked for 6:30 and I don't think we got off our beds until the absolute last minute.

The bus tour was okay. I'm glad we did it, the buildings are beautiful at night. However, we still couldn't walk right, and had more walking do as the bus dropped us of for pictures, and picked us up at a later time for a new destination. I guess I wasn't expecting all that more walking to be done. Also, our bus sort of gross, and our tour guide mumbled. When not sitting on the bus he would entertain himself with lasso tricks. Yep, we had a cowboy in DC. Fun times. We got back at 10:30, again not what I expected, and we were totally exhausted. Too tired to realize we skipped dinner.

On to day 2

Maternity Monday

How Far Along: 5w5d

Total Weight Gain:  Ugh! 3 pounds. And that's after 3 days of walking around DC

Maternity Clothes:  I haven't pulled the old ones out yet, but the bloat is bad. I look like I'm closer to 4 months along by the end of the day

Sleep:  So far, so good this week. I haven't felt pregnancy related exhausted, but that could be because I was just overall exhausted.

Cravings or Aversions: Nothing specific yet. I was out to dinner on Friday night, and I thought the people two tables away loaded on the dressing. All I could smell was vinegar. Apparently I was the only one smelling this. The woman next to me with the clam chowder almost made me lose it.

Best Moment This Week: Being able to go on a walking vacation and not spot at all. Woot!

Movement: Definitely not yet, only gas movement for now.

Gender: No idea

Labor Signs: Please no.

Belly Button in or out: In

What I miss:  Not keeping secrets. I hate keeping this a secret, but we need to get further than I was last time, at least.

What I'm Looking Forward to: Feeling every symptom and knowing that each I feel is a very good sign.

Weekly Wisdom:  Don't over analyze every symptom or lack of, it will drive you crazy (I really need to take my own advice).

Milestones:  Called the OB, and the pee test confirmed I am actually knocked up. First appointments are scheduled

What the baby is up to: Baby's now the size of an appleseed!Your embryo, which doesn't look like much more than a tadpole right now, is actually starting to form major organs (heart, kidney, liver, stomach) and systems (nervous, circulatory, digestive). Baby's presence in your uterus triggers production of HCG (the hormone detected by pregnancy tests), which triggers the production of other hormones like estrogen and progesterone, which triggers all those great symptoms you've probably been noticing!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Maternity Monday

How Far Along: 4w5d

Total Weight Gain:  I'm taking today as my base weight. A lot higher than I want it to be, but it is what it is

Maternity Clothes:  Since I was barely fitting into my regular clothes, I bought a BeBand this weekend. I'm thinking it won't be long once the bloat fully sets in

Sleep:  Exhaustion has set in. Plus AJ doesn't want to go to bed until 8-9PM and calls morning wake up time somewhere around 5-6AM.

Cravings or Aversions: This is just starting. M made eggs for him and AJ this morning. Not loving that smell right now. I made a pink lemonade sorbet float last night. The first half was really good, but I had to give the second half to M as it started making me feel sick.

Best Moment This Week: Getting the BFP, and feeling it.

Movement: Definitely not yet, only gas movement for now.

Gender:  No idea

Labor Signs: Please no.

Belly Button in or out: In

What I miss:  Nothing at the moment

What I'm Looking Forward to: Feeling every symptom and knowing that each I feel is a very good sign.

Weekly Wisdom:  Enjoy every moment of being pregnant (even the horrible ones).

Milestones:  Getting that BFP on our TTC anniversary cycle.

What the baby is up to: Baby's now the size of a poppyseed!Now safe in your womb, the ball of cells (blastocyst) is splitting into the embryo (your future child) and placenta. Outside this microscopic speck, the amniotic sac and fluid are forming into protective cushioning.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Monday, April 11, 2011

Sew Last Minute

My really good friend is having a baby. It was a long struggle for her, and she is just enjoying every minute of being pregnant. I have never heard her complain about one second of baking that baby. Saturday was her baby shower, and she was glowing. I wanted to do something a little special for her. I bought a bunch of things that were life savers for us in the early months, Mrs. Meyers lotion, Butt Paste, the musical remote mirror for the car (the most annoying sound in the world, but the only thing that could calm AJ when taking long drives), and Gerber diapers for burp rags.

I LOVE Gerber diapers for burp rags. The really thick kind though. When I was pregnant with AJ, for some reason we couldn't find those anywhere and ended up getting the gauzy ones. Nothing like picking up spit-up with basically cheesecloth. Blech! Well, the look of a diaper hanging over the shoulder isn't the best look, so I wanted to pretty it up a bit for my friend. I had all these grand ideas of how I was going to do it, but I'm the worst procrastinator in the world. I bought all the material to do my plan in February. Saturday morning, 4 hours before the shower, I finally started sewing. Yep, I waited that long. So of course none of my original plans had enough time left to be completed.

My friend loves to read, and what's better than Dr. Seuess? This is what I started with:

I purchased half a yard of the fabric and a six pack of diapers. I washed the diapers to shrink them a bit, then cut the fabric to about an inch wider than the diaper and six inches long. I folded the edges at about a 1/4 to 1/2, pinned and ironed. Then folded them in half and ironed the crease. I had lots of ideas to add fancy stitching in bright red (looked like a heart monitor readout), so I took that out. I had red piping, but didn't have enough time to do all six like that (it looked amazing though, so I really should try it sometime). I ended up just doing a straight stitch in white for time limitations.

Here's the end result:

I know they could have come out so much better, but thankfully my friend didn't see what the piping option looked like. Not knowing that, I think they look much better than just a plain diaper thrown over the shoulder.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I recently read a blog post from Morrigan about a jambalaya recipe. It looked so yummy, I just had to try it. Of course I had to also change it quite a bit, because that's what I do. Actually I just didn't read the whole recipe before going shopping, so I had to make substitutions in quite a few places.

So, this is closer to what I did:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cleaned and cut up into large bite sized pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound smoked sausage, sliced into circles - I used turkey kielbasa
1 bag of frozen chopped pepper and onion for stir fry
A few shakes of the Adobo spice jar
A bit of dried thyme
2 cups brown basmati rice - this I wouldn't do again, the rice was still crunchy after cooking
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes - I had a 28oz can of whole tomatoes, so I drained half the juice and chopped them up in the pot
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 dried bay leaf
Shrimp, about 1/2 pound, deveined, shelled, etc - I had a bag of frozen pre-cooked, so I dumped that in towards the end just to thaw and heat through
A good shake of Mrs. Dash Chipotle seasoning - less heat for AJ
sprinkle of cayenne pepper - I put this directly in M and my bowls, again, so AJ could eat it
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
I also added a good shake of celery salt and lessened the actual salt.


Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to the Dutch oven and brown on each side, about 8 minutes total. Remove to a plate and reserve.

Add sausage, onion, bell pepper, Adobo, and thyme and saute until translucent and sausage is browned, about 8 minutes. (you may want to brown sausages seperately like chicken)

Stir in rice, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, broth, bay leaf, and reserved chicken, and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook on low, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the chipotle seasoning.

Last 10ish minutes, add the shrimp, once the rice is almost done since the shrimp does not take long to cook.

Turn off heat and let rice stand, covered, 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Fluff rice with fork and stir in green onions
There was no rice fluffing to be done with mine. Like I said, it was still crunchy at the end. I'm hoping the leftovers will be a little more al dente at least. I'll definitely make this again, this time when I have garlic in the house and some better rice.